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TAFE fees should be scrapped not turned into loans.

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Kerry Nettle, Senator for New South Wales

TAFE fees should be scrapped not turned into loans

18th Apr 07

Greens Education spokesperson Senator Kerry Nettle today welcomed the contribution from

three leading economists to the debate on the future of TAFE fees but said that they had

jumped to the wrong conclusion.

"Dr Chapman and his colleagues are right to say that prospective TAFE students are put off by

up front fees, but wrong to say fees should be turned into loans. Instead fees on key courses

should be scrapped," Senator Nettle said.

"The economy suffers because TAFE fees discourage essential upskilling and retraining. The

answer is to scrap fees.

"The costs associated with scrapping fees from at least some key TAFE courses will be offset by

the productivity growth this extra training will supply.

"It would be a mistake to go down the road unversities have travelled introducing fees and then

loans which have become bigger and bigger only to be replaced by full upfront fees later down

the track.

"Education and training must be seen as a prudent investment by government not a cost. The

starting point must be for education to be free to students, subsidised by government.

"State and Federal Governments should work with the TAFE community to identify key courses

to begin the process of removing fees and increasing the funding to the sector to handle

increased productivity.

Contact - Jon Edwards 0428 213146