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TAFE “consultation” descends into farce

The Liberal Government’s alleged TAFE consultation over its plan to blow up the training institution is little more than an exercise in lecturing staff rather than taking on board their legitimate concerns.

Shadow Minister for TAFE Josh Willie said rather than be consulted on the government’s unnecessary plan to gut the institution, TAFE teachers and other staff were simply being informed of the changes.

“It’s hardly consultation when the government is scheduling meetings without notice and while teachers are unavailable because they are doing their jobs and while classes are sitting,” Mr Willie said.

“The government and Minister Sarah Courtney are taking a sledgehammer approach to their so-called consultation and telling teachers their plan is going forward and is not negotiable.

“It’s typical of the government and Ms Courtney to simply force their plan without undertaking meaningful consultation.

“That’s because Ms Courtney cannot rule out cuts to courses, campus closures and job losses among teachers under her woefully misguided plan to privatise TAFE.

“The government’s plan will simply gut TAFE.

“They know that in South Australia where there has been a similar flawed plan, there were cuts to 20 courses in areas of high need – courses like childcare, aged care and disability and other areas including retail, dental, performing arts and rural operations.

“Ms Courtney has also had every opportunity to rule out job losses, a loss of employment conditions for teachers and fee hikes but she cannot.

“Instead she is pushing ahead with a farcical consultation process because the Liberal Government is determined to take an axe to TAFE and they do not want to listen to the very genuine opinions of staff which are at odds with their unnecessary, unjustified plans.”

Josh Willie MLC  
Shadow Minister for TAFE