Swinburne University of Technology: Lilydale campus

Swinburne University of Technology’s Lilydale campus is closing as a direct result of unprecedented funding cuts by the Baillieu government. At a public meeting organised by Yarra Ranges Shire Council on 26 September residents unanimously supported a motion to retain the Swinburne site for community, TAFE and university education.

I want to commend council on its submission to government. The recommendations made in that submission include:

That the … state government … supports securing the site for the ongoing delivery of tertiary education and skills training as a community educational asset in outer eastern Melbourne …

That the … state government … acknowledge the unique social disadvantage of the outer east that constitutes the need for a regional tertiary

Paragraph 1.2 of the submission goes on to state:

Council submits that the impact on Swinburne … of government cuts … is stated to be $35 million in 2012-13 … The pending loss of this dual-sector tertiary education campus for the outer east creates a significant gap in fulfilling the needs of the community.

In paragraph 3.2 it states:

Programs at the TAFE campus were separately and specifically designed to meet the needs of the region with a strong focus on the key industries of services, tourism and viticulture.

The ill-informed Premier should take note of that.

Paragraph 3.13 contains the statement that:

With far fewer young people completing secondary education in the Yarra Ranges than the eastern metropolitan region access to a relatively close TAFE provider is critical to provide young people with access to training to ensure their success in a labour market requiring a higher skilled workforce. The greatest impact of the loss of a TAFE facility at Lilydale will be felt by those with the most to gain from its presence.

In paragraph 3.7 it states:

The enrolments also give cause to question the claims that enrolments are in decline and that the campus therefore needs to close …

The table on page 10 shows that enrolments in 2011 totalled 2536 students, compared to 2245 in 2010 and 2048 in 2009. The only reason Swinburne Lilydale is closing is because of the actions of this government.