MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:07): Today is an exciting day for TAFE and training in Victoria, a day when this government takes the next step to make TAFE and training better than ever. When we came to government, the training system was absolutely—
Ms Shing: President, can we just get a bit of quiet? It happened yesterday. It’s happening today—
The PRESIDENT: Order! I was struggling to hear the minister as well. Next time, please, Ms Shing, raise a point of order instead of talking.
Ms TIERNEY: When we came to government the training system was absolutely decimated—decimated by the cuts inflicted on it by the previous government. We came to government to rebuild TAFE. We reversed the cuts, and we have consistently invested in TAFE and skills.
Ms Shing: On a point of order, President—you have asked me to get to my feet to make a point of order should this happen again—as happened yesterday three times when you asked the opposition to be quiet, we have got constant interjections. The minister has a right to make a statement. I could not even hear her from the top, and I would be really grateful for that opportunity.
The PRESIDENT: I have already indicated to the house that I am struggling to hear the minister. Again, please, I want to hear the minister.
Ms TIERNEY: Thank you, President. Today I was proud to be at the Bendigo Kangan Institute Automotive Centre of Excellence to announce a $380 million package for skills and training, and what a fantastic initiative this is, investing in our skills and training system in this state: over 12 000 extra training places on top of the places funded in last year’s budget; a new state-of-the-art $60 million health training facility at the BKI Broadmeadows campus, meaning that health courses will be offered in Broadmeadows for the first time; a significant GOTAFE redevelopment delivering fantastic trade facilities; funding to continue the successful asylum seeker VET program, creating more opportunities for Victorians; $12 million for TAFEs to purchase new equipment to train apprentices and trainees, building on the launch of Apprenticeships Victoria; and of course the new Victorian Skills Authority, a new anchor organisation that will bring together industry, unions and governments to make our TAFE and training system—
Mr Davis: On a point of order, President, the minister has asserted that she made this announcement. Actually, more correctly, the announcement was made last night by Dr Bach.
The PRESIDENT: I do not believe there was a point of order, and it was a waste of time.
Ms TIERNEY: The new Victorian Skills Authority is a new anchor organisation that will bring together industry, unions and government to make our TAFE and training system more joined up.