Bendigo TAFE Is Safe Into The Future

Bendigo TAFE Is Safe Into The Future

Victoria Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall

Future Of TAFE In Bendigo Is Assured

Victor P Taffa

The future of TAFE in Bendigo is assured, despite irresponsible speculation to the contrary, Higher Education Minister Peter Hall said today.

Responding to a question from Nationals MLC for Northern Victoria, Damian Drum, Mr. Hall said Bendigo TAFE had proudly served the Bendigo and Central Victorian region for 156 years.

“So far in 2012, there have been over 10,000 enrolments at the Institute that compares with 9,600 in total for 2011.” Mr. Hall told Parliament.

“The Loddon-Mallee region is the only area in Victoria where growth through the TAFE sector has oustripped growth in training delivered by the private sector, and Bendigo TAFE has been prominent in that role.”

 

“It’s very disappointing to learn that members of the Opposition, led by their leader Daniel Andrews, continue with a campaign of misinformation and scaremongering that does nothing but denigrate the role of TAFE.” Mr. Hall said.

Mr. Hall attacked the Opposition for using Bendigo TAFE as a political football.

“Members of the Opposition have a responsibility as representatives in this Parliament of Victoria and those responsibilities do not include misleading the Bendigo community.” Mr. Hall said.

“Nor do they include running down our training system.”

Mr. Hall, referencing a letter written by Bendigo TAFE and published in the Bendigo Advertiser on October 20, quoted chief executive Maria Simpson who said ‘It does not help at all for people to think we are closing. We are not. We are open’.

Ms. Simpson’s letter goes on to say:

Unfortunately, TAFE changes are being focused in on the political positioning for the next election. It is unhelpful to Bendigo TAFE for any political party or group to create unnecessary uncertainty about it. Bendigo TAFE is open, we are operating now and will be in 2013 and beyond.

During Question Time in the Legislative Council today, Mr. Drum asked: “Given the recent negative comments about Bendigo Institute of TAFE, can the Minister please provide the House with clarity on its future?”

Mr. Hall said Bendigo TAFE had an exciting future and the Government was working with the institute to explore closer working relationships with La Trobe University and how best training facilities in Bendigo could be configured.

“Bendigo TAFE has the support of the Victorian Coalition Government and will be around for many, many years to come, which is more than can be said of the doomsayers Daniel Andrews and his out of tune Labor chorus.” Mr. Hall said.