Protesters re­ject TAFE cuts

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Danielle Jarvis To join the protest, visit stoptafe­cuts.com.au/nsw

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.

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