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EDUCATION—HIGHER EDUCATION—FUNDING

Senator Rhiannon, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 964—That the Senate—

 (a) notes that:

  (i) on 20 September 2012 thousands of students, parents, teachers, staff and friends of Technical and Further Education (TAFE) rallied in Victoria, and in other states, to support TAFE students and staff who are bearing the brunt of state government budget cuts such as the Baillieu Government's devastating $300 million TAFE cuts, which will lead to
campus closures, job losses, more course cuts, further increases to students' fees and charges, and will damage the economy,

  (ii) the Baillieu Government's $300 million vocational education and training (VET) budget cuts result from a drastic shift in VET market share, where private VET courses have overtaken TAFE courses for the first time, coupled with a 310 per cent growth in enrolments in private Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), a failure of state and federal VET policy that TAFE should not be punished for,

  (iii) the New South Wales Government, in the week beginning 9 September 2012, delivered a $1.7 billion education budget cut that includes 800 job losses at TAFE NSW and will result in a 9.5 per cent increase in TAFE NSW course fees, and

  (iv) the market-based student-entitlement model that is failing in Victoria and being adopted in other states poses a risk to the viability of the TAFE system and to the economy as it is unlikely to deliver the skilled workforce mix that Australia needs; and

 (b) calls on the Government to:

  (i) urgently introduce measures to curtail the growth in enrolments in private VET providers and RTOs which is draining state government VET budgets, and

  (ii) revise the National Partnership Agreement to phase out entitlement-based funding and fee help, and instead focus on funding and developing public providers.

Question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 10

Senators—

Di Natale

Hanson-Young

Ludlam

Milne

Rhiannon

Siewert (Teller)

Waters

Whish-Wilson

Wright

Xenophon

NOES, 28

Senators—

Back

Bernardi

Bilyk

Brown

Cameron

Cash

Colbeck

Collins

Cormann

Crossin

Fawcett

Fifield

Gallacher

Kroger (Teller)

Lundy

Marshall

McEwen

McKenzie

McLucas

Moore

Nash

Parry

Pratt

Ruston

Smith

Sterle

Thorp

Urquhart

Question negatived.