Letter to the Editor - March 26:It’s a shake-up not an ambush

STAY in your seat Tony Morrissey, there's no need to fall over the edge of the public gallery into the Bear Pit of the NSW Parliament ("Bush ambushed by TAFE cuts", March 19).

There's been a lot of misinformation about TAFE NSW, so let's get straight to the facts.

We are not closing TAFE campuses in regional NSW.

What will happen is sites such as vacant land, annexes and facilities no longer fit-for-purpose will be sold, with money reinvested in TAFE facilities.

It's quite wrong to assert TAFE teachers will be paid just $50,000. The current minimum remuneration is an annual salary of $78,619 and there are no plans to decrease those salaries.

Money allocated to vocational training needs to be spent on resources and employing frontline teachers.

At the moment TAFE is clumsy, we haven't got the efficiencies and we're not flexible enough to meet the needs of what students want now. Everyone acknowledges, even TAFE itself, that it needs a shake-up to change so we can become more responsive to business, industry and, most importantly, to the needs of the students.

That's the way TAFE can become a modern vocational education system and remain as the number one provider, the public provider, of vocational education in NSW.

John Barilaro,
Skills and Small Business Minister



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