The Dapto TAFE campus has finally been removed from the State Government’s sell-off hit list, Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson said today.

It has been confirmed that the NSW Police Force will lease the site for training purposes for the next three years.

This news means the Dapto TAFE campus will remain in full public ownership.

“We have achieved our objective as a local community to stop the State Government selling off the Dapto TAFE campus to greedy developers, which was the initial intention of the NSW Liberals”, she said.

Ms Watson said she was disappointed that a proposal to allow the lease of the Dapto TAFE campus for use by Autism Spectrum Australia (ASA) would now not proceed.

“This is a bit bitter sweet for me.

“While the campus has been saved from a sell-off, and with the Police leasing the site, it is a lost opportunity for the use of the campus by ASA to deliver educational services to children with autism.

“The Dapto TAFE campus would have been an ideal location for ASA to become a new home for these children.

“I will continue to work with the State Government, which considers my proposal has merit to see if we can find other under-utilised assets in the Illawarra which would allow ASA to expand its services to children with autism because their current facilities are nearly at breaking point”, she said.

Ms Watson said that the State Government had also confirmed that it would lease a Dapto CBD shopfront for TAFE.

“This is just a waste of money and shows the State Government’s priorities for skills, training and TAFE are as warped as ever.

“The State Government intends to open a shop-front for TAFE when it has an abandoned campus less than 500 metres up the road”, she said.

Ms Watson said the State Government should never have gutted the Dapto TAFE campus over the last 5 years.

Dapto TAFE campus just 5 years ago had 658 enrolled students, 111 staff and a range of services.

“The State Government has a warped ideological hatred of TAFE in NSW and it is simply trying to kill off the long-standing institution in favour of private for-profit training providers”, she said.


17 February 2016