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Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Page: 12664

Mr CHEESEMAN (Corangamite) (16:16): Deputy Speaker Georganas, I will take this time to congratulate you for being elected during the last sitting as one of the deputy speakers. Today I rise to inform the House that I have collected over 1,300 signatures from people in the Geelong area and surrounds demanding that the state government stop their reckless cuts to the TAFE sector in Victoria, particularly Gordon TAFE that services the Geelong community and surrounds. These cuts will devastate training and skills in the Geelong region with, potentially, up to 43 courses being shut and the end to VET training in our schools. The Gordon TAFE has delivered the VET in Schools program for almost 20 years across the Geelong area, with more than 1,000 students from 28 secondary schools taking part in this year alone. The Liberal Party's cuts to VET training will disadvantage students who wish to take up vocational training opportunities rather than, perhaps, taking the opportunity of going to university.

The Geelong community simply will not accept these TAFE cuts that have been announced by the Victorian state government. All people in the Geelong area, one way or another, have a very strong connection to the Gordon TAFE college. This is an institution that has been providing training opportunities for Geelong people for more than 125 years. It is an institution that the Geelong community is very proud of, and I am certainly prepared to work very closely with the Geelong community to hold the Victorian state government to account for these TAFE cuts.

Last week I had the opportunity to present these petitions, with over 1,300 signatures, to my state parliamentary colleague in the area, Gayle Tierney, who will be presenting them to the Victorian parliament in the coming weeks. I thank her also for showing her support to the TAFE college, for those that work within the institution and for young people that continue to be educated by this very fine institution. Ted Baillieu must stop these TAFE cuts.