MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:21:56): I rise to update the house on the Andrews Labor government’s further investment in Victoria’s TAFE infrastructure.
Prior to last year’s state election Labor announced a $220 million Building Better TAFEs Fund, the largest single investment in Victoria’s TAFE asset portfolio in recent times.
In the 2019–20 state budget that funding is starting to flow.
In this year’s budget we are contributing to the build of four capital works projects, including $23.5 million to upgrade the Gordon’s culinary school at the Geelong city campus.
Also I was in Warrnambool last Monday morning, where I made the announcement that the money would be available for a new library and learning hub at South West TAFE’s Warrnambool campus.
Ms Wooldridge: On a point of order, President, I do not believe that the ministers statements extend to being able to read a document in great detail. The minister has been speaking for nearly a minute and has not lifted her eyes once; she has just read line by line. Can I ask for the minister to uphold the practice of the house, as she is the minister responsible for these areas, and actually not read slavishly from a document?
The PRESIDENT: Sorry, I was diverted for a second, but I did see the minister was just referring to notes. In saying that, it is actually a ministers statement, so I think that there should be some leniency about reading such a statement to the house. I will ask the minister to continue, but I would say that if people are making a statement in this house, I can understand if it is actually a written statement as well. I will look into that in the future, and I will ask the minister to continue.
Ms TIERNEY: Thank you, President. Clearly the opposition are very sensitive about this issue, because they did not promise one dollar in last year’s state election towards TAFE infrastructure—not one dollar. So they are absolutely embarrassed about their lack of contribution to this very important institution in this state.
We also in the state budget made an allocation of $10.2 million for an integrated centre for construction technologies for Box Hill. Then there was a further $2.54 million for nursing and training facilities at GOTAFE’s Seymour campus.
These are fantastic announcements, coupled with a further half a million dollars for Melbourne Polytechnic and indeed Chisholm Institute so that they can get ahead and start planning for their new campuses that were announced during the election period. We are building modern, effective infrastructure buildings that we can all enjoy and that will be able to meet the needs of Victorians.