Save Swinburne’s Lilydale and Prahran campuses petition to be presented to Parliament
A Save Swinburne’s Lilydale and Prahran campuses petition with over 10,000 signatures will be presented to James Merlino the shadow Education Minister on Wednesday 12 September, 12.30pm, on the steps of Parliament House.
The signatures have been collected from staff, students, local traders and concerned community members in and around Lilydale and Prahran as part of the community campaign against the closure of the campuses stemming from the Baillieu Government’s $35 million cut to Swinburne’s TAFE operations.
Dr Colin Long, the Victorian Division Secretary of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), said that there was community outrage right across Victoria at the overall cut of $290 million to TAFE funding.
“But nowhere is the Baillieu Government’s slash and burn strategy felt more keenly than at these two campuses,” Dr Long said.
“Lilydale is home to the only university/TAFE campus in the outer east. The campus closure throws the future of 3500 students and 300 staff into jeopardy. The Prahran campus has been the site of technical education for over 100 years and is a system-wide leader in children’s services, arts and theatre courses. It is one of Victoria’s most accessible TAFE campuses, providing vocational education to over 4000 TAFE students.
“Staff and students know how important these campuses are and we have been encouraged by the massive support we have received from the local communities.”
Dr Long said that the closure of these campuses was a body blow to the local economies.
“Local businesses rely on Swinburne to train staff. Local families rely on Swinburne to give them access to training and education. A lot of students will be lost to vocational and higher education altogether and miss out on the opportunity to attain the skills our economy demands. It’s particularly bad news for the 60 indigenous students at Lilydale and the hundreds of students wanting to attend the only theatre program in Victoria’s TAFE system,” he said.
“The loss of these two campuses is a tragic outcome of this government’s disregard for the TAFE system. We invite concerned citizens to join us on the steps of Parliament House on Wednesday.”
Save Our Swinburne Campaign Committee
Swinburne Lilydale Student, Amie Watson, 0416 395 693
Swinburne Lilydale TAFE Teacher, Gage Rossiter, 0414 530 066
Swinburne NTEU Industrial Officer, Josh Cullinan, 0416 241 763
Swinburne Prahran Student, James Searle, 0421 734 881
Swinburne Prahran TAFE Teacher, John Preston, 9214 6960
Swinburne TAFE former Executive Director, Judy Bissland 0419 310 289
Media comment: Colin Long, Division Secretary, NTEU Victoria, 0403 920 361
More info: Carmel Shute NTEU Media Officer: 0412 569 356