Government's TAFE logic questioned

Sharryn Usher
TAFE Organiser

Shiver me timbers: River festival pirate performer Steve was not happy that TAFE funding is being pillaged.

Residents in the high youth unemployment area of Queanbeyan are dismayed by the NSW Government's funding policy threatening their local TAFE.

Recently TAFE activists set up a stall at the Queanbeyan River Festival to explain the situation to parents, grandparents, prospective students and concerned community members.

People were alarmed to hear that all vocational education and training funding previously earmarked for TAFE is to be put out to tender, available to for-profit registered training organisations to run training in competition to TAFE. They questioned the Government's logic.

Queanbeyan TAFE students are already facing rising course costs, reduced course offerings and shrinking delivery times. It was news for many that local TAFE teachers were facing redundancies.

Community members spoke passionately about the start TAFE had given them, like Trevor who completed his trade certificate in 1950. Others were genuinely concerned for their local TAFE college's future if funding continued to be reduced.

As Monaro has been identified as a marginal seat for the upcoming state election, the community was supportive of the work TAFE activists were engaged in and signed up to join the Stop TAFE Cuts campaign. Further activities are being planned for Queanbeyan, including a Meet the Candidates forum.