MS 23TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:18): I am incredibly proud to update the chamber on how TAFE Gippsland’s Morwell campus is better than it has ever been because of the investments made by the Andrews Labor government. Our government is absolutely determined to give Gippsland locals access to the very best local TAFE for local jobs, and the Morwell campus redevelopment is a testament to this.
In the 2018–19 budget we committed $35.5 million to transform the campus, and it is an absolute transformation. Ms Shing, the Premier and I recently opened the Morwell Trade Skills Centre, and it is simply incredible. The facility has plumbing and electrical lab facilities, a specialist workshop, skills bays and general-purpose classrooms. The facility is already thriving, with 28 per cent more trades students compared to 2020–21. This brand new, fantastic facility complements stage 1, which we opened last year. Stage 1 is a health and early childhood training centre and is going gangbusters. The Morwell campus has absolutely been transformed. It was a right mess when we came to government, and just look at it now. Every local can be really proud of what has been achieved by Grant Radford and the team of wonderful people at TAFE Gippsland.
TAFE is no longer a second or a backup choice for Victorians; it is an equal first to university. When a government builds facilities like this at a TAFE, a very clear message is sent that TAFE matters and TAFE should be an option of choice. We are proud of TAFE and the fantastic careers that come from TAFE, and with investments like this Victorian businesses know that they are getting the best trained students right here in their local communities. We are very proud on this side of the chamber in terms of all of the investments we continue to make in the TAFE and training system.