MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:12): I am pleased to update the chamber on how the Andrews Labor government is making record investments in TAFE and making it the best it has ever been. Late last year the Premier and I visited William Angliss Institute to announce an additional $108 million in TAFE funding for the sector for the next three financial years. This funding will support TAFEs to deliver critical student services across the state, services like counselling, disability support and on-campus activities. The additional funding recognises the central role that the public training system has here in Victoria.
This government is unequivocal in its commitment to public education and training. You will not ever see us taking a sledgehammer to our TAFE system like some others have been known to do. What Victorians will always see is proper investment in TAFE from this government. This funding announcement is part of a $156.2 million package announced in the 2021–22 budget update to build upon and deliver a new funding arrangement for TAFEs. We need the pipeline of skilled workers that TAFE provides, and this record support will go a long way to delivering that.
It was fitting to make this announcement at William Angliss, Australia’s best large training provider in 2021. It was the sixth year in a row that Victoria had taken out the award. The Andrews Labor government has consistently backed in TAFE because it believes in the importance of TAFE. Whether it be record capital investment right across the state, reopening previously closed campuses, introducing free TAFE, investing in our fantastic TAFE teachers or this recent funding boost, we are giving TAFEs the resources they need to build the skills up in our state. And there is more to come.