Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — My question is to the Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Mr Hall. Yesterday, in response to a question from Mr Philip Davis, the minister outlined what Gippsland’s dairy industry has told him that it needs in the way of TAFE training. What has western Victoria’s dairy industry told him that it needs in the way of TAFE training?
Hon. P. R. HALL (Minister for Higher Education and Skills) — I thank Ms Tierney for her question. If she goes back and carefully reads my answer in Hansard, she will find that the answer contained advice I received from the dairy industry across the state. Dairy Australia convened the forum, and indeed the majority of contributors were from Ms Tierney’s electorate in the western part of the state. I was pleased to receive feedback from a number of dairy farmers and from people located in western Victoria. As I said yesterday, it was a very positive discussion. The work that was undertaken between Dairy Australia and the National Centre for Dairy Education in conjunction with GOTAFE was very positive. I welcome the feedback that I received at that meeting from dairy farmers and dairy manufacturers from across Victoria.
Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — I thank the minister for his answer and the comments that he made yesterday as well as today. However, in particular I am interested in the specific needs and requirements that western Victorians farmers have laid out to him. My supplementary question is: given that South West TAFE’s position is well known in the media, will the minister now direct it to reverse its decision to cease training at Glenormiston?
Hon. P. R. HALL (Minister for Higher Education and Skills) — I am not sure that the supplementary question relates directly to the original question, but let me say this: present at that forum I had with the dairy industry were people who were involved with WestVic Dairy, and they certainly informed me of needs in the area.
With respect to whether I am directing South West Institute of TAFE to reconsider its decision to discontinue training at Glenormiston College, let me say to Ms Tierney that in relation to its training operations, particularly in the agricultural sector, the vast majority of the programs that South West currently delivers at the Glenormiston site will continue to be delivered at locations in western Victoria where that training is needed. I have no hesitation and no doubt in saying that. I think that of the 18 courses that are likely be discontinued, 12 of those have had less than five enrolments.