The Dapto and West Dapto community has one last chance to save the Dapto TAFE campus from a greedy cash-grab by the State Government, Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson, said today.
“If you want this Dapto TAFE campus to remain here available for vocational education and training, you must make your voices heard by telling the Minister for Skills that his plan to sell-off this campus is not on.
“The State Government will sell it off unless the community makes its voice heard – loud and strong”, she said.
Ms Watson has also called on the Premier’s Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast, Gareth Ward MP, to start putting the region first rather than his political ambitions.
“Gareth Ward shouldn’t be waiting by the telephone today for a briefing about his Government’s plans to sell-off the Dapto TAFE campus.
“He should be on the phone to the Minister telling him to take the Dapto TAFE off the sell-out list immediately.
“Mr Ward is telling everyone today that he had no idea his Government was preparing to sell-off Dapto TAFE.
“If he was actually at the Cabinet table as a Minister representing the Illawarra, he might have had more of idea and put a stop to it.
“Today he can prove that he puts Illawarra education, skills and training first by joining me to demand the Minister strike out of the sell-off list the Dapto TAFE campus.
“If he instead defends his Government, Mr Ward will simply confirm he is nothing more than the Premier’s Parliamentary pen-pusher in the Illawarra”, she said.
Ms Watson said that for the past five years the State Government had ruthlessly gutted Dapto TAFE like a blue-fin tuna.
“They cut its courses, then its services, then its staff and then its students.
“The State Liberals have been preparing this sell-off of Dapto TAFE campus for a long time.
“Two Ministers have tried to do it quietly and sneakily.
“Just five years ago under Labor, Dapto TAFE campus was thriving with 658 student enrolments, 111 teaching staff and services.
“Today it’s a ghost town”, she said.
Ms Watson is seeking a meeting with the Minister for Skills, John Balilaro MP, to put to him face-to-face that Dapto TAFE should be struck out of the Government’s sell-off list.
“I am determined to fight the Minister to ensure that Dapto TAFE campus remains an education precinct”, she said.
14 September 2015