Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says the Newman Government has admitted it plans to sell at least 13 TAFE campuses and close up to 25 more.
Mr Pitt said Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek had embraced 37 of the 40 recommendations of the Queensland Skills and Training Taskforce report released earlier this month which proposed slashing 38 of the 82 TAFE campuses across Queensland.
The LNP have basically accepted the report lock-stock and barrel which proposed to slash regional TAFE campuses across Queensland by cutting:
- Far North Queensland Region from 26 to 15 campuses
- Fraser and Sunshine Coast Region from 13 to eight campuses
- Western Corridor Region from 16 to 11 campuses
- Brisbane Metropolitan Region from 15 to five campuses
- Skills Tech Australia from six to two campuses
- Gold Coast Region from six to three campuses
“The LNP are engaging in asset sales of our educational institutions, it is disgraceful,” Mr Pitt said.
“What is worse is the LNP have not identified which TAFE campuses will be sold and which ones will stay, leaving students and teachers in limbo over the summer break.
“Mr Langbroek cannot leave regional communities wondering if they will have access to a TAFE campus in the future, he needs to tell regional communities which campuses will be sold.
“By closing regional TAFE campuses the LNP is now making it even more difficult for people in regional areas to access the training and tertiary education needed to gain what employment is left in the regional towns where the LNP Government has already cut jobs and services.
“The LNP Government has already slashed the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative which helped place young people and the long-term unemployed in work.
“Now the LNP Government is further disadvantaging regional communities by making access to education and training even more difficult.
“The LNP says their goal is to increase participation in training to boost productivity, how can you increase participation by closing campuses and reducing access to education,” he said.
Mr Pitt said local LNP MPs needed to stand-up for their local communities and demand the Education Minister tell them which TAFE campuses would be closed.
“TAFE students will be starting their summer break not knowing if they have a campus to go to next year,” he said.
“LNP MPs did not letterbox during the election campaign saying they were going to shut TAFE campuses.
“Local LNP MPs must declare where they stand and if they are happy to see local TAFE campuses shut.”