TAFE funding’s on the agenda
THE Greens will launch a new campaign in Coffs Harbour today to save Australia's TAFE system from privatisation.
Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon and Greens NSW MP John Kaye will visit North Coast TAFE to speak to staff and students about plans to secure at least 85% of the total vocational education and training budget available for TAFE.
The Greens say contestable funding policies by the federal Coalition and Labor parties are "destroying" TAFE and preventing students from accessing affordable educational opportunities.
"It is time for a change in direction to protect TAFE from privatisation before it is too late," Ms Rhiannon said.
"Rising fees, declining enrolments at TAFE and a devastating loss of staff are the result of a 2012 national agreement between the former Labor government and the NSW Coalition.
"Quality education and training for school leavers in the Mid North Coast region are being devastated in the name of market economics."
Mr Kaye said cuts to TAFE funding would be harder felt in regional areas.
"TAFE has a history of operating annexes and small colleges like Kempsey, but private providers go for the efficient solution of aggregating services into big centres," he said.
"Kids in the bush should not be forced to drive hundreds of kilometres to get to their courses or move to the city."
A NSW Upper House committee inquiring into the future of TAFE will take place in Coffs Harbour in September.
The Greens campaign will launch at North Coast TAFE in Coffs Harbour at 3pm this afternoon.