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Tragic day for public education as government’s TasTAFE wrecking ball Bill passes

Education Minister Sarah Courtney has achieved her woefully misguided goal of putting a wrecking ball through TasTAFE with the Gutwein Government’s TasTAFE Skills and Business Training Bill passing the Legislative Council.

Shadow TAFE Minister Josh Willie said the government and Ms Courtney had achieved nothing more than an attack on TasTAFE, based on ideology rather than what is best for students and staff at the training institution.

“This is little more than an industrial dispute dressed up as reform and it will result in a loss of structured, high quality training which will be bad for students,” Mr Willie said.

“Ms Courtney is determined to gut TAFE and now – tragically – staff and students will see the results of that.

“Unfortunately this Minister has completely ignored the evidence that was clearly available to her – that these reforms haven’t worked in other states and that they have resulted in the hollowing out of public training institutions and cuts to important course such as childcare, aged care and disability.

“She refused to genuinely consult and she refused to listen to staff at the coalface.

“The Liberal Government has treated everyone who works in the TasTAFE system and every student who depends on it for a career path with disrespect and contempt.

“Courses are accredited nationally, this bill won’t change that – what it will do is fundamentally change the TasTAFE workforce, with increased casualisation.   

“Under the government’s plan, quality training at TasTAFE will be dismantled and it will become a budget version of itself.”

Josh Willie MLC  
Shadow Minister for TAFE