Fears voiced over trade course affordability

Sue Napthali
Life Member

Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon tells the meeting about the Jobs, Rights and Services campaign.

Education, privatisation and jobs were discussed at a Ryde Community Union Alliance community forum on October 8.

Ryde and Lane Cove community members heard from Federation President Maurie Mulheron about TAFE funding cuts.

"The NSW Government has sacked 150 teachers at the North Sydney TAFE Institute. There won't be a viable, affordable post-school technical education and training capacity in NSW within three years in NSW unless these cuts are reversed. Where will our kids get the training they need for trades and technical work? Are we going to simply import workers because the government can't be bothered to train our own community?"

On behalf of Ryde Community Alliance, Leonie Dean spoke against the overdevelopment planned and highlighted the inadequacy of the infrastructure to meet the needs of the growing local population.

Jean Parker from the Save Medicare Campaign spoke about how government is taking us down the American path by privatising our health system and introducing a co-payment for Medicare. The NSW Health Department has released statistics showing that if this payment is introduced an additional 500,000 people will overwhelm emergency departments.

Jim Casey (NSW Fire Brigade Employees Union) was unable to attend, but his letter of apology drew attention to the impact of budget cuts that have resulted in closures to Ryde station 13 times, Lane Cove station 36 times, Rydalmere station 38 times and Eastwood station nine times.

State election candidates from every political party were invited to attend the meeting held at the Ryde Ex-Services Memorial Club. Candidates from the Greens and the ALP attended to listen to the issues raised by the meeting. Unfortunately neither Lane Cove MP Anthony Roberts nor Ryde MP Victor Dominello responded to the written invitation to attend, and did not appear at the meeting.