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TAFEs the next victim of Campbell Newman's wrecking ball

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SENATOR THE HON CHRIS EVANS Leader of the Government in the Senate Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research


7 September 2012

TAFEs the next victim of Campbell Newman’s wrecking ball

Premier Campbell Newman’s plan to slash the number of TAFE campuses around the State will mean thousands of Queenslanders will be denied access to training.

The Federal Minister for Skills, Senator Chris Evans, today said he was alarmed that the Queensland Skills and Training Workforce, in its interim report to the State Government, has recommended the number of TAFE campuses across Queensland be cut from 82 to 44.

“The Liberal National Party is considering closing half of the State’s TAFE campuses and in doing so, denying thousands of Queenslanders the chance to access training,” Senator Evans said.

“These cuts will seriously undermine the national training effort and see hundreds of Queensland teachers lose their jobs.

“This goes right to the heart of our training effort to train the skilled Australian workers we need to fill the jobs emerging in the economy.”

Senator Evans said the TAFE closures will mean Queensland employers will not have access to the skilled workers they need.

“Employers will be forced to rely more and more on skilled foreign workers,” Senator Evans said.

“It is short sighted of the Queensland Government to undermine TAFEs at a time when the State's economy needs more skilled workers.”

Senator Evans said it would be students that pay the ultimate price.

“The TAFE network is an essential public institution and one which the Gillard Government values highly,” Senator Evans said.

“TAFEs are on the frontline when it comes to giving Queenslanders the skills they need to get a job and are essential in delivering training in our regions and to disadvantaged students.”

The Gillard Government is putting almost $1.5 million into the Queensland training system over the next five years and has signed an agreement which allows for an additional $357 million to lift the quality and the number of people completing qualifications.

Senator Evans’ Media Contact: Rhys Davies 0411 138 572 Amy McKenna 0408 570 603