Swinburne University of Technology
The Liberal government forced the closure of the Swinburne University of Technology Lilydale campus as a result of its savage cuts to TAFE. Since June last year the gates have been padlocked and the opportunity of a university or TAFE education has been lost to thousands of young people in the outer east. Those opposite stand condemned for closing Swinburne Lilydale. The community has not forgotten nor forgiven the government. The reaction of the community and its support for the Save Swinburne Lilydale campaign have made the closure the most passionately felt of any local issue I have been aware of in my 12 years as a member of this place. The people want their TAFE back; they want the only higher education facility in the east back. At a time when youth unemployment in the outer east has increased by almost 50 per cent, for the sake of the future of young people in the region the people of the outer east must get it back.
This morning the Leader of the Opposition joined with me, the shadow minister for higher education and many members of the local community in front of the locked gates of Swinburne Lilydale to make an important announcement. I am very proud to inform the house that Labor will reopen Swinburne Lilydale. If elected in November, Labor will return higher education and TAFE to the Lilydale campus. Indeed if it is sold off to developers or the local council before the election, which those opposite want to do so they can have a Taj Mahal, Labor will compulsorily acquire it back. If this magnificent site is sold off, it will never be replicated. That is why we say that it is not for sale. The university and TAFE buildings should be used solely for TAFE and higher and community education.