Protesters reject TAFE cuts
MORE than 100 people have protested against a proposal to cut the paint and panel courses at Mt Druitt TAFE.
Thursday’s protest included TAFE teachers, students, Opposition spokesman for skills David Harris and Mt Druitt state Labor MP Edmonda Atalla.
Mr Atalla blamed the cuts on State Government changes to TAFE funding.
“The Baird Government needs to come clean on what changes it is considering to these subjects to give stu- dents the certainty they need about next year’s enrolments,” he said.
Students had received a letter stating the automotive body repair and automotive finishing courses would not be run out of the campus from 2016, he said.
However, a TAFE NSW spokesman said no decision had been made.
“Due to declining enrolments in these courses, part of the review will examine course delivery and operating structure,” he said.
“The review is currently in the consultation phase with staff and stakeholders.”
TAFE paint and panel teacher Terry Teremoana, who has been a teacher at Mt Druitt TAFE for nine years, said he would lose his job if the proposal went ahead.
“In Mt Druitt we have more paint and panel enrolments than Campbelltown or Sydney do,” Mr Teremoana said.
“I don’t know why you would want to close the majority rather than the minority.”
Mr Teremoana said students were concerned their
relevant bosses would not allow them to travel long distances to finish their apprenticeships.
NSW Teachers Federation relief TAFE organiser Jennifer Jenkins-Flint urged the Government to reconsider its funding arrangements.
“It doesn’t make sense to cut the course. Mt Druitt is the centre of the industry,” Ms Jenkins-Flint said.
Skills Minister John Barilaro had not responded at the time of going to press.