MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:04): Last week’s budget continues our work to make Victoria’s TAFE and training system better than it has ever been. I have already taken the chamber through a number of initiatives in this year’s budget, but I am excited to share a few other key areas that have been funded. At its heart this budget is about creating jobs and caring for Victorians.
The PRESIDENT: Order! The minister to continue, without interruption.
Ms TIERNEY: Thank you, President. Last week’s budget continues our work to make Victoria’s TAFE and training system better than ever. I have already taken the chamber through a number of initiatives in this year’s budget, but I am excited to share a few other key areas that have been funded. At its heart this budget is about creating jobs and caring for Victorians. That is what our investment in TAFE is all about.
One of those areas is $2.7 million to preserve Aboriginal languages. An important part of treaty is to support the continued survival of Aboriginal languages, and in this budget we are building on our previous investment by funding free access to certificates II and III in learning an Aboriginal First Nations language for Aboriginal learners. This builds on previous funding we have provided to support courses in Aboriginal languages offered at Swinburne. I have no doubt that this investment will help keep many Aboriginal languages alive for decades to come.
The budget also includes a quarter of a million dollars to undertake a business case for TAFE provision in Melton. It is this government that supports Melton—just look at the investment in the hospital—and now we are taking this important step of looking at access to TAFE. Melton is a growing community that has lower rates of transition into further education. We want to change that.
I know that Mr Gepp, Ms Symes, Ms Pulford and I are really excited about the skills and jobs centre bus pilot being funded in the Mallee. It will service Robinvale, Charlton and Kerang, among other communities, and in doing so will bring TAFE to them. The regional partnership asked for it, and we have listened. This budget continues to deliver for all Victorians.