Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson has today told the Minister for Skills John Barilaro that she won’t be attending his taxpayer-funded fancy-pants party to officially open the TAFE Illawarra Dapto shopfront next Thursday afternoon labelling the invitation an incredible insult and indulgence.

Dapto TAFE campus was closed down earlier this year and has been replaced by a tiny shopfront in the Dapto CBD on the Princes Highway.

The Government gutted the Dapto TAFE campus over the last five years slashing its student enrolments, cutting its teaching stuff, and removing its services.

The Government had also planned to sell-off the Dapto TAFE campus site including it in a secret Cabinet-In-Confidence submission, which was leaked last year.

Ms Watson fought the sell-off and earlier this year it was revealed the Dapto TAFE campus would be leased to the NSW Police Force for the next three years to allow training under the Government’s armed offenders program.

The Dapto TAFE campus prior to the election of the Liberal Government had nearly 600 students, 111 teaching staff, and a range of services and facilities.

The Government has refused to answer questions on how much it is leasing the Dapto shop-front for, or how much the NSW Police Force is leasing the former Dapto TAFE Campus site for over the next three years.

Comments attributable to Anna Watson:

“Having a taxpayer-funded fancy-pants party to open a tiny shopfront after the Minister deliberately gutted the Dapto TAFE campus so systematically over the last five years is an incredible insult.

“Unlike the Minister’s Liberal colleagues, I won’t be joining him to celebrate the closing down of a once bustling TAFE campus to quaff fancy drinks and food to open a tiny shop-front as its replacement.

“This fancy party to open a tiny shop-front office is a disgusting indulgence by the Government and an insult to the growing community of Dapto and West Dapto.”


15 April 2016