April 11, 2014

Ballarat TAFE Crisis Under Napthine

Denis Napthine’s TAFE cuts have devastated TAFE delivery at Ballarat University, now Federation University Australia, local Labor MP Geoff Howard said today.

The University of Ballarat transitioned to Federation University Australia on 1 January 2014.

The University of Ballarat Annual Report revealed that the institution’s overall surplus dropped by $55 million in 2013.

The Annual Report also showed that TAFE student contact hours at Ballarat University dropped by 26 per cent and TAFE staff numbers dropped by 6 per cent.

In the 2013 year alone, there was a $119 million cut to TAFE operational funding across Victoria by the Napthine Government, according to the Auditor General.

Since $1.2 billion in TAFE cuts were announced in 2012, thousands of jobs are gone, course fees have increased, courses were scrapped and campuses were forced to close.

These cuts follow on from budget cuts in 2012-3 when $20 million was cut from Ballarat TAFE which lead to 100 job losses of TAFE teachers, with more than 70 course closures in business, education and arts, health and sciences, construction, horticulture, agriculture, engineering automotive, fitness, hospitality, finance, racing, transport and logistics.

With dual sector universities providing almost half of Victoria’s training not long ago, the
demise of their TAFE delivery under the Napthine Government is a huge setback for skills needs and job growth in Victoria.

“Not everyone wants to go to university, and TAFE courses have provided important practical training alternatives,” said Geoff Howard.

“Our young people and retrenched workers need these options and our region needs people with strong skills,” said Geoff Howard.

“It is a tragedy that dual sector universities like Ballarat are being forced to cut training provision under the Napthine Government’s funding cuts to TAFE,” said Geoff Howard.

“Under Denis Napthine, our TAFEs are in financial crisis as more of our kids are missing pout on TAFE options,” said Geoff Howard.

“When jobs are disappearing and businesses are shutting down, the last thing we need is more TAFE campuses to close,” said Geoff Howard.

“Denis Napthine has no idea of the damage he’s done to TAFE campuses and communities across Victoria, especially in Ballarat,” said Geoff Howard.