MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:07): On Monday I had the privilege of welcoming the Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, and the federal Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor, to the world-class Victorian Tunnelling Centre at Holmesglen TAFE, which is a great example of collaboration between the Metro Tunnel project, the construction industry and TAFE. I must say how refreshing it was to have a Prime Minister who within the first month of being elected is on the ground to see firsthand how important vocational education and training is in delivering the pipeline of skilled workers we need now and into the future.
Together we toured these great facilities, which are purpose built to train the next generation of tunnel construction workers. We viewed the massive tunnel-boring machine cutter head, identical to those creating huge rail tunnels under Melbourne, as well as trialling augmented reality training equipment. We met students and trainers who could not speak highly enough of working with such incredible equipment and facilities. We were joined by Steve Dimopoulos, the member for Oakleigh; Matt Fregon, the member for Mount Waverley; and newly elected federal Labor MPs Michelle Ananda-Rajah and Carina Garland.
It is so good to have a Prime Minister who understands the real connection between hands-on learning, jobs and building infrastructure and, moreover, a Prime Minister and a federal minister who understand the value and the role of TAFE in providing high-quality skills and training that lead to great jobs and careers and respond to the needs of the economy.