Peter Hall backs GippsTAFE

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Peter Hall backs GippsTAFE

Peter Hall: the Higher Education and Skills Minister, confident of GippsTAFE’s future.

STATE Higher Education and Skills Minister Peter Hall is confident GippsTAFE will continue its “very significant operations” in Gippsland – including Leongatha.
And he wants federal carbon tax offset money to pay for strengthening tertiary education in the region.
Speaking to The Star early yesterday afternoon, Mr Hall said he was “doing everything I can” to ensure “there is a strong point of delivery of TAFE courses in South Gippsland”.
He also expressed confidence in the future of GippsTAFE, describing its Leongatha campus as “one of the best equipped small facilities”.
His comments offer a positive view that is not shared around the TAFE sector, nor local government. On a motion from Bass Coast Shire Council, the Municipal Association (MAV) of Victoria State Council is seeking a guarantee from the State Government that no TAFE campuses will close following State Budget cuts.
The motion also seeks an immediate meeting with Mr Hall and Regional and Rural Development Minister Peter Ryan, with the aim of impressing on them the negative impact TAFE cuts will have on already struggling communities.
It was passed unanimously at Bass Coast Council’s meeting last Wednesday evening, before being lodged as a late item with the MAV State Council the following day.
In Bass Coast discussions, Cr Peter Paul said the cuts were drastic and Cr John Duscher declared they flew in the face of education being named as one of the priorities in the Gippsland Regional Plan developed in 2010 by the Gippsland Local Government Network.
GippsTAFE CEO Dr Peter Whitley said on television on Friday night that small campuses would close.
Mr Hall told The Star he had spent two hours on May 16, meeting with Dr Whitley and GippsTAFE board chair David Gittins.
“We had a good chat about the matters and issues they’re dealing with.”
The minister added he has so far met with 13 of the 18 TAFEs in Victoria, including Chisholm which has a campus at Wonthaggi.
“The discussions are ongoing.”
The Star has been unable to confirm the status of either the Leongatha GippsTAFE campus or the Chisholm one. Dr Whitley has been in constant meetings for well over a week, apparently unable to return calls and Chisholm CEO Maria Peters is not yet making any public statements.
Mr Hall confirmed government backing for the Gippsland Tertiary Education Plan. He will deliver the government’s response to the plan next Tuesday evening. Mr Hall said the government will accept all recommendations in the plan, including the setting up of “technologically enabled” learning centres in various towns, including Leongatha and Wonthaggi.
“I am actively discussing with the Federal Government how best to deliver these.”
He will also announce who’s on the 12-member advisory council that will have two years to research and lobby for the plan’s implementation.
Bass Coast’s Cr Gareth Barlow slammed Mr Hall’s decision to deliver the education plan response in the restaurant at GippsTAFE’s Morwell campus where hospitality students are trained. Hospitality courses have been targeted by the budget cuts.
“It’s ironic and insulting – extraordinary bad taste.
“Perhaps Peter Hall will explain to those students what alternative they can do other than being
employed.”

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Posted by on May 22 2012. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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