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Wednesday, 15 August 2007
Page: 70

Mr BOWEN (1:59 PM) —As the honourable member for Parramatta said, nothing demonstrates the failure of this government’s Australian technical colleges program better than the experience in Western Sydney—one of the biggest employment-generating areas in this country and its program has been a complete failure. The previous Minister for Vocational and Further Education has been sacked but the people trying to get a technical education in Western Sydney and elsewhere continue to pay the price. The former minister has paid a price, but the people trying to get into the system continue to pay the price. Let us look at the background of this issue in Western Sydney. On 26 September the government announced the establishment of Australian technical colleges. On 15 November, Senator Payne announced that tenders would be sought to establish a college in Western Sydney. The former minister announced this college with great fanfare on 23 June 2006. He said, ‘I look forward to attending the opening of the college in early 2007.’

The SPEAKER —Order! It being 2 pm, the debate is interrupted in accordance with standing order 97. The debate may be resumed at a later hour and the member will have leave to continue speaking when the debate is resumed.