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Opposition forces government to act on TAFE funding.

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Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate

Labor’s Parliamentary Secretary for Education






Pressure from the Labor Opposition has forced the Government to bring forw ard legislation to provide funding for vocational education and training for the year 2000.


Funding for Australia’s TAFE system runs out this month.


Senator Kim Carr, Labor’s Parliamentary Secretary for Education, moved in the Senate to force the Government to lift the priority of the Bill which provides funding to TAFE, the Vocational Education and Training Funding Amendment Bill 1999.


“It is a scandal that, with funds about to dry up, TAFE Institutes and other vocational education providers do not know how much money they will receive and when that money will flow,” Senator Carr said.


“This Government has failed to give appropriate priority to the assurance of funding security for our TAFE system.”


Senator Carr pointed out that the Commonwealth was directly responsible for one third of the public funds going to TAFE. The remaining funding is provided through State Governments.


“The Bill which the Government has sought to delay provides for an appropriation of $918 million yet the Government had placed this legislation at the bottom of the list of Government Business, behind a series of minor and routine Bills, including even its doomed legislation on Voluntary Student Unionism.


“As a result of serious pressure exerted in the Senate by the Opposition, this Bill will now be brought on next week,” Senator Carr said.


“This will mean that Australia’s TAFE system will know where it stands as far as Commonwealth funding is concerned.


“The Government’s handling of education highlights the fact that it does not accord to education the priority that it is due. Dr Kemp, quite frankly, does not have the muscle within the Government to force education up the legislative totem pole,” Senator Carr said.


Senator Carr pointed to further education Bills that are languishing low on the Notice Paper. They are:


·  Employment, Education and Training Amendment Bill

·  States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Bill.


This second Bill provides for funding for schools, due from 1 January. “It seems that the Government will not legislate to fund education until the Opposition acts to force the issue,” Senator Carr said.


Further information: Kim Carr 02 62773730; 0419 563 922





att  1999-09-24  10:52