MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:32:21): Recently I had the pleasure of visiting GOTAFE’s Shepparton campus to speak firsthand with staff and students who are part of this growing institute.
There is absolutely no doubt that GOTAFE is turning the institution around. This has happened through the sheer hard work of their dedicated staff, the CEO, the executive team and the board.
On my visit one staff member even grabbed my hand to thank the Andrews government for the support it has given GOTAFE and TAFEs across the state. This particular teacher also said that when the time comes he can now retire in the knowledge that new, energised people are coming through the system—new teachers and new staff to continue the great work going on at GOTAFE as we speak.
There has also been a significant increase in enrolments since the introduction of free TAFE.
We have also seen an amazing buzz in the corridors and in the quadrangles. There is optimism in the air within the staff, the students and the wider community.
Local students are enrolling in that local TAFE to get the skills they need for a good local job. People are proud of their local TAFE institutes, and they support free TAFE.
The only people who do not want to hear about the success of free TAFE and how we are rebuilding TAFE are those opposite. They are only interested in having something negative to say about TAFE. They are only interested in denying young people in Victoria the chance to study at TAFE, denying young people the chance to better their lives and their families.