MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (13:07): This week is an important milestone in the government’s commitment to make TAFE better than ever. On Sunday I announced $55 million worth of TAFE maintenance projects—projects at standalone TAFEs across Victoria—and the list of projects is really exciting.
At TAFE Gippsland the Warragul and Morwell campuses will see an injection of over $4.3 million to refurbish learning classrooms, create greater capacity for blended learning and improve the Koori and horticultural buildings. I know Ms Shing is thrilled about this. The Broadmeadows campus of Bendigo Kangan Institute will receive $5.5 million to create a state-of-the-art sustainable plumbing centre. This will mean more capacity to train the next generation of plumbers. And Box Hill TAFE will receive over $5 million to upgrade the hospitality school at the Box Hill Elgar Road campus and to undertake classroom upgrades. I know that Minister Leane, Ms Terpstra and the outstanding member for Box Hill, Paul Hamer, strongly welcome this announcement, and I invite Dr Bach to do the same—to back Box Hill TAFE in. Then there is GOTAFE. GOTAFE is receiving almost $4 million to upgrade its Shepparton campus’s kitchen teaching spaces and to refurbish the student hub and courtyard at the Seymour campus—projects that Minister Symes and Mr Gepp are strong advocates for. These are just a few of many projects that will create local jobs in our economic recovery.
All of us remember that TAFE barely had its lights on when we came to government in 2014, and look at it now—saved from collapse because this government understands the importance of TAFE, the importance of free TAFE courses, because it changes lives. TAFE is well on the way to doing even better.