Media statement in response to NSW Labor’s TAFE announcement in Maitland this morning
3 February 2015
Clr Michael Osborne Greens candidate for Newcastle said: “Labor’s promises won’t help those Fine Arts students in Newcastle whose fees skyrocketed at the beginning of 2013.
“While Labor’s commitment to scrap Smart and Skilled is welcomed by the Greens, Hunter voters should remain wary.
“Newcastle and the Hunter need a properly funded TAFE so that Hunter people can capitalise on the economic opportunities of the future.
“This means reversing the Labor and Liberal cuts of the last decade and a half,” said Clr Osborne.
“The promise ignores their own track record of fee increases when they were in government and the further rises that occurred under the Liberals and Nationals before 2014.
“The Greens do not believe that Labor’s promise of a 30% cap on private providers accessing public funding will be enough to keep TAFE affordable and allow it to provide high quality training.
“It will go nowhere near enough to replace the 1100 positions lost from TAFE NSW under the Coalition.
“When they were in office Labor stripped $1 billion out of TAFE’s budget and it was their federal colleagues under the former Gillard government that forced NSW to sign up to the competitive market.
“There is nothing essentially new in this announcement. In June last year Mr Foley’s predecessor John Robertson used his budget reply speech to deliver these very same commitments with the addition of a further announcement of the 30% cap on private providers made in November last year by the shadow Opposition education spokesperson Ryan Park.
“The Greens restate our commitment to ending the public funding of all private providers of vocational education and training where a particular course can be offered by TAFE,” said Dr Kaye.
For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455 Clr Michael Osborne 0439 442 984