Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — On 15 November the Napthine government made further cuts to Victoria’s TAFE system, informing registered training organisations of changes to course funding rates for all training providers. The list of courses with significant subsidy cuts includes: certificate II in tourism, which has been cut from $6.50 per student contact hour to $3; certificate III in tourism, from $7 to $3; certificate I in hospitality (kitchen operations), from $7.50 to $1.50; and certificate II in hospitality, from $8 to $1.50.
Last week I visited the Portland and Warrnambool campuses of South West TAFE, which has always had strong enrolment numbers in the courses I mentioned. These latest cuts will be yet another significant blow to South West TAFE, resulting in further courses being shut down, higher student fees and staff cuts.
These subsidy cuts will also be extremely damaging to the vibrant tourism industry in the south-west, which relies on these courses to train workers in hospitality and tourism. It is yet another example of the Napthine government making across-the-board cuts without considering the impacts on regional Victoria and local economies. These cuts make a mockery of the Napthine government’s claim that it is prioritising industry needs in local areas for government funding. The Premier has represented the south-west for 25 years. You would think he would understand the significance of these courses to the local economy by now. This is yet another deliberate blow to the people of regional Victoria and in particular tourism businesses in the south-west of Victoria.