My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Training and Skills, Mr Steve Herbert, and is in relation to South West TAFE. A couple of weeks ago the minister and I were fortunate to meet with industry leaders at the Warrnambool campus of South West TAFE to talk about their skill and training needs and the alignment of TAFE courses to those needs. We then spoke with the board of South West TAFE and covered a variety of subjects. The following week I was very pleased to see the announcement from the minister of $4 million to be provided to the TAFE in an attempt to rescue it from the immediate financial crisis it is facing as a result of the previous government’s policy and lack of respect for TAFE.
South West TAFE has a number of other campuses, including one in Hamilton and one in Portland. Therefore I believe it is also appropriate for the minister to make arrangements to visit those campuses and meet with those communities, staff and students to look at the courses they run and the facilities that exist and whether there is scope to also engage local businesses and industry in aligning their training and skill needs with what those campuses can offer.
It is a platform of this government to provide the best quality post-school education. It is important to do that in our regional towns, whether they be regional centres like Warrnambool or Portland and Hamilton. It is imperative that we keep our youth in our regional towns for as long as we can. It is imperative that we ensure that we have the ability and capacity to have local people for local jobs in our regional towns.