August 17, 2012

Western MPs rally to save TAFE

State Member for Footscray Marsha Thomson and State Member for Williamstown Wade Noonan have joined thousands of students and staff in protesting against Premier Ted Baillieu’s TAFE cuts in Melbourne on Thursday. 

Around 2000 teachers, students, support staff and politicians from across Victoria chanted “save TAFE, sack Ted”, as they marched from the State Library to the steps of Parliament House. 

The Baillieu Government is continuing its agenda of cutting TAFE funding by over $300 million, sacrificing jobs and a chance at education for many. 

Opposition Labor MPs including Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews joined in the crowd at the steps of Parliament House sticking up for Victoria’s staff and students. 

“These cuts are wrong, they’re hurting students, they’re hurting employees, it’s not good enough,” Mr Andrews said at the rally. 

Thousands of petition signatures were handed to Mr Andrews to deliver to Premier Bailleu on the floor of Parliament. 

50 staff have already been made redundant from VU’s TAFE division as a result of these cuts. 

“Skills and jobs are what people in the West need and VU TAFE provides a pathway to jobs and further education that may now cost too much for people to access,” Marsha Thomson said. 

VictoriaUniversityis currently reviewing the viability of all of its TAFE offerings, and there are 30 to 40 courses currently offered that will go. 

“This is the biggest attack on the sector we have seen in the State’s history”, Wade Noonan said. 

“Our students need a fair go and under the Baillieu government that’s not what they’re getting.”

“It is an indictment of this government that it thinks that with just the slash of a pen it can destroy the dreams and opportunities of a generation of young people, said Ms Thomson. 

“This is a government that is in budget crisis. It is its budget crisis, and the young people of Victoria should not have to pay for it.” 

More information on the ‘Fight the TAFE cuts’ campaign can be found at http://www.fighttafecuts.com.au, and TAFE petitions are available at Marsha Thomson’s Footscray electorate office.