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Protesters oppose the State Government's Smart and Skilled policy

Policy delay follows TAFE rally

Sharryn Usher and Rob Long
TAFE Organisers

Just days after a Stop TAFE cuts rally outside the office of a state MP, the NSW Government announced it would delay proposed changes to the TAFE system by six months.

The State Government’s Smart and Skilled policy proposes TAFE course and job cuts that will damage the NSW economy.

The rally was held outside Parramatta MP Dr Geoff Lee’s office on October 25. TAFETA President Phillip Chadwick, Greens MLC John Kaye, ALP MLC Helen Westwood and Federation Assistant General Secretary (Post School Education) Maxine Sharkey addressed the gathering.

Ms Sharkey said: “The NSW Teachers Federation’s Stop TAFE Cuts campaign aims to ensure the O’Farrell Government’s so called Smart and Skilled policy does not result in the wholesale loss of courses from TAFE or increasing costs to students. The campaign highlights the risk of losing affordable and accessible second chance learning and vocational employment options.”

Dr Lee was invited to address the event but did not.

The rally coincided with the NSW launch of the national letterbox drop drive “Do your block to stop TAFE cuts”, which ran November 11–17. The launch encouraged TAFE supporters to deliver leaflets and letters in their neighbourhoods.

All Federation members are encouraged to register for the national Stop TAFE cuts campaign at www.stoptafecuts.