Classes at Dapto TAFE have stopped this semester effectively making it a ghost-town, Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson, said today.
“The Liberals are trying to suggest there have been no cuts to TAFE during this election campaign.
“I say: come to Dapto TAFE campus and see what real cuts mean.
“The Liberals have sneakily cut back student numbers, staff numbers and services at the Dapto TAFE campus over the last four years.
“At a time when Dapto, West Dapto and Tallawarra are experiencing expanding population, the Liberals have slowly gutted the Dapto TAFE campus at the very heart of this local community”, she said.
Ms Watson said that she had been tipped-off by TAFE insiders in the Illawarra that all classes for the semester have been stopped at Dapto TAFE campus.
“Students who enrolled in classes here, or expressed an interest in studying here, have been referred to other TAFE campuses in the Illawarra.
“This is a disgrace and just gives the lie to the Liberals’ claim that their Government has not cut TAFE.
“The Dapto TAFE campus will be closed and sold-off after the election by the Liberals if they are re-elected.
“The Liberals just don’t have the guts to tell the people of Dapto and West Dapto that’s what they’re planning to do”, Ms Watson said.
Dapto TAFE campus had 658 enrolled students in 2010 (last year of the State Labor Government), and these numbers have fallen every single year of the last four years to just 274 students in 2013.
Dapto TAFE campus teachers have also steadily declines from 111 in 2010 to just 86 in 2013.
Labor candidate for Kiama, Glenn Kolomeitz, said, “This is a tragedy for students and staff.
“Dapto Campus is an important educational institution not only to the community of Dapto, but also the northern parts of the Kiama electorate, including Albion Park, Albion Park Rail, and Jamberoo.
“TAFE is just too important to cop the cuts that Gareth Ward and the Liberals have imposed on education and vocational training over the last four years.
“I benefited from a TAFE education myself and I know it’s important, not only to obtain life-long learning skills, but as a second chance for school leavers.
“I’ve been working closely with Anna Watson to put pressure on the Liberals to stop gutting the Dapto TAFE campus and I’ll continue to do so if I’m elected the Member for Kiama at the end of this month”, he said.
Within one term, a Labor Government will:
- Abolish the Liberal’s ‘Smart and Skilled’ privatisation program;
- Reverse the Baird Government’s TAFE fee hikes;
- Guarantee funding to TAFE by capping the amount of public funds that can be contestable by private operators at 30 per cent; and
- Commission a landmark review of education and training in NSW after Year 10.
6 March 2015