Chesters to speak out against the Bendigo TAFE merger at Federal Parliament public hearing in Bendigo

The Standing Committee on Education and Employment will visit Bendigo tomorrow continuing the public hearing schedule for its inquiry into TAFE and its operations.

The public hearings will give the committee an opportunity to hear from Victorian TAFE stakeholders, and take evidence regarding the challenges and opportunities facing the wider community specifically in relation to further education, employment and skills development.

“Denis Napthine’s $1.2 billion TAFE cuts have forced Bendigo to consider a takeover by a Melbourne based TAFE behind closed doors” Ms Chesters said.

“Napthine’s cuts are having a huge impact on jobs and skills in central Victoria.  It is yet another policy decision where State government funding is being cut from regional communities.  The Bendigo community has not been privy to these discussions, nor consulted about the impact of losing its own TAFE institute,” Ms Chesters said.

“The result of increased fees will be fewer students pursuing vocational education and therefore, fewer skilled workers to drive our local economy” Ms Chesters said.

Labor State Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards has joined Lisa Chesters MP in standing up for Bendigo TAFE.

“The City of Bendigo deserves a standalone TAFE” Ms Edwards said.

“Hopefully this Federal Government Public hearing will break open the secrecy surrounding the potential takeover of Bendigo TAFE.

Bendigo deserves better than Denis Napthine forcing our city to lose over 150 years of training behind closed doors,” Ms Edwards said.

The purpose of the Bendigo public hearing is to provide the committee with a clear overview of the issues TAFE in Victoria is facing.

Submissions to this inquiry have now closed. Submissions received can be viewed on the committee website: http://www.aph.gov.au/ee

Details of the hearing are as follows:

Wednesday 16 April 2014
9:00 am – 1:30 pm
Bendigo Performing Arts Centre
50 View Street Bendigo, VIC
Proceedings will be webcast at www.aph.gov.au/live

For information on the inquiry: contact the Secretariat on (02) 6277 4573, email ee@aph.gov.au or visit the committee website at http://www.aph.gov.au/ee