AEU Tasmania TAFE Division President, Damian Von Samorzewski, responds to the Federal Budget and the Opposition budget reply speech.

 Damian Von Samorzewski, said:

“It is clear that the Liberal Turnbull Government is not a friend of the public TAFE system in Tasmania, with a continuation of funding cuts in this year’s federal budget.

“Turnbull’s budget plans to cut another $177 million from the TAFE sector in Australia. Tasmania is to receive the biggest cut of all which equates to a 46% reduction in funding – or almost $6 million dollars. 

“TAFE in Tasmania is slowly fading away and is in desperate need of fair funding so that it can once again be a serious and affordable option for those that prefer a non-academic pathway to further learning and training. Without tradies, our country stops. 

“All of us know someone personally who has benefited from vocational education, and education in TAFE. For many, if it wasn’t for TAFE, a second chance in life or career would have been unaffordable.

“It appears that these members of the community are the poor cousins to the more academic in our society. In a country built on diversity and a fair go, it is clear that the Aussie battler will have to battle for harder & for longer to achieve a vocational qualification. 

 “The current strategy for reducing costs in TAFE is to cut delivery. This is because it can be done with stealth as students don’t realize that courses are shorter in duration or have less content. TAFE’s main point of difference is slowly being eroded.”

“Meanwhile, we welcome the Australian Labor Party’s commitment, in its budget reply speech, to ensuring at least two thirds of the public money allocated to vocational education and training is guaranteed for funding public TAFEs.”

“The AEU looks forward to working with all political parties, and members of parliament, to stop the damaging cuts and ensure a vibrant future for TAFE.”

Further information:

Harriet Binet, AEU Communications, 0427 841 760.

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