James Merlino marches to tell Ted – TAFE cuts have gone too far

Member for Monbulk, James Merlino, greeted hundreds of TAFE students, teachers and staff at Parliament House to make the point that the Baillieu Government’s harsh $290 million cuts to TAFE are totally unacceptable.

Mr Merlino said the size of the crowd showed that Mr Baillieu had underestimated the impact the cuts to TAFE were having across the state.

“In the Yarra Ranges and Knox areas and all across the state Mr Baillieu’s TAFE cuts are causing pain,” Mr Merlino said.

“Mr Baillieu’s unprecedented assault on TAFE is forcing institutes to consider closing campuses, sacking staff, cancelling courses and putting up fees.” “Nowhere is the impact being felt more than in our local community with the announced closure of Swinburne’s Lilydale campus a decision that is directly attributed to the Baillieu Government’s cuts” James Merlino said.

Mr Merlino said, “businesses across the Yarra Ranges, the outer eastern metropolitan region and beyond into regional Victoria know that Swinburne delivered employment outcomes: jobs for students and employees for local businesses. The government also maintains that this was a decision of Swinburne and not of the government. What absolute rot!”

Mr Merlino said the cuts were also coming at the worst time for Victoria, with major job losses being announced almost every day in different areas of the economy.

“When the economy is contracting, responsible governments invest in skills and training to better prepare the workforce for recovery,” he said.

“But Mr Baillieu is doing exactly the opposite and devastating TAFE institutes around Victoria and, in fact, he is adding more people to the unemployment queue.

“The community has banded together to send the message to Ted Baillieu that these savage cuts are taking education and training in Victoria backwards.”