NTEU media release: Campaign to protect TAFE shifts focus to Geelong as Baillieu rips $14.6 million from Gordon Institute
The campaign to stop massive budget reductions to Victoria’s 18 TAFE institutes will shift its focus to Geelong on Thursday, with a protest rally against the cuts.
The protest, jointly organised by the Victoria National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) and Australian Education Union, will take place at 12.15pm on Thursday in Johnston park (opposite Gordon TAFE) Fenwick Street, Geelong.
“The Baillieu Government wants to cut nearly $300 million from Victoria’s 18 TAFE institutes,” said Colin Long, NTEU Victorian President.
“More details emerge every day about the impact from this, including major job losses, a reduction in courses and increased fees.”
“Gordon TAFE has already announced it will loose $14.6 million of its public funding, approximately 21% of budget.”
“Although Gordon’s management is still grappling with implications of this, they have been clear it will result in significant course cuts and job losses.”
“Gordon’s management has also been quoted in the local media as saying new enrolments would not be taken for nine distance education courses currently offered by the Gordon’s Centre for Essential Business Skills.”
“This will have a much broader impact on the Geelong community and economy, including skills shortages in the area.”
“While TAFE struggle to maintain their viability, the government has reportedly offered them just $70,000 each to ‘assist’ with the dramatic funding reduction for courses. It’s scandalous.”
“We are hoping for a big turn-out at the Geelong rally,” said Long. “We need to send a clear message to the Victorian Government that the community will not accept these cuts lying down.”
Tomorrow’s rally is the fifth in a series of protests against the TAFE cuts being organised across regional Victoria.
Speakers at tomorrow’s rally will include representatives from the NTEU and AEU.
A full list of the cuts to Victoria’s 18 TAFE institutes is available for download.
Colin Long, Division Secretary, NTEU Victoria, is available for comment and interview in the lead-up to and after Thursday’s rally on 0403 920 361
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