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Queensland Liberals must rule out cuts to TAFEs



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

MEDIA RELEASE

6 November 2012 Queensland Liberals must rule out cuts to TAFEs

The Gillard Government is seeking assurances from the Queensland Liberal National State Government that it will not reduce access and funding to the Queensland Vocational Educational and Training system.

The Queensland Skills and Training Workforce report, released today, recommends the number of TAFE campuses across Queensland be cut from 82 to 44.

The Federal Minister for Skills, Senator Chris Evans, said the Commonwealth was concerned the Liberal Queensland Government may pursue policies that would see a decrease in students and increase the cost of going to TAFE.

“I fail to see how cutting the number of TAFE campuses by half boosts the national training effort, Senator Evans said.

“To cut the capacity of Queensland TAFE in half would seriously undermine the national training effort and see many students denied the opportunity to gain the skills and training needed in our modern economy.

“The TAFE network is a valued public institution and one which the Gillard Government holds in high regard.

“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 billion 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.

“The Gillard Government wants to ensure that Premier Campbell Newman maintains a commitment to training Queenslanders,” Senator Evans said.

“It would be shorted-sighted of the Queensland Government to undermine TAFEs at a time when the State's economy needs more skilled workers.

“We have seen this approach from Liberal State governments across Australia. The Victorian and NSW Liberal Governments have cut TAFE funding and increased fees, reducing access to vocational education.

“If the Queensland Liberal Government pursues the same policies it will not be able to train the skilled workers needed to fill the jobs emerging in the Queensland economy.”

Senator Evans’ Media Contacts: Rhys Davies 0411 138 572