Fulham campus fight drags on

Gippsland Nationals MPs have vowed to renew the campaign for a new campus of Federation Training in Sale, after the failure of the Andrews Labor Government to provide funding in last week’s state budget.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath has met with the Shadow Minister for Training and Skills and Deputy Nationals Leader Steph Ryan to highlight the need for a solution to the Fulham campus saga.

Ms Bath said the Fulham campus was outdated, too far out of Sale, and suffering as the Andrews Labor Government cut courses at the campus.

“It was disappointing for the Wellington Shire community to see no funding in last week’s state budget to relocate the campus into Sale, but given Labor’s form on TAFE and VET funding, perhaps not that surprising,” Ms Bath said.

“Shadow Minister Steph Ryan is well aware of the troubles facing Federation Training, including its Fulham campus, and I’ve updated her on growing community concern around the level of service offered by Federation Training to the Wellington Shire.”

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien said Labor continued to make excuses and fire empty rhetoric rather than actually delivering.

“During parliament recently, I again asked Minister Gayle Tierney for an answer on when will something be done in Sale for TAFE students and I got a meaningless response that was all politics and no substance,” Mr O’Brien said. (A copy of the response is attached.)

“It is astounding that Minister Tierney would provide a response like this when under this government courses have been slashed or moved to the Latrobe Valley or to Bairnsdale. The campus is getting run down and the community can’t get straight answers out of Federation Training.”

“Two and half years down the track, Labor has no plan for the Fulham campus and the community is growing tired of the excuses. Labor claimed there was a “crisis” in TAFE when elected, but since then, enrolments have fallen an astounding 45 per cent.”

Ms Ryan highlighted that under Daniel Andrews, Federation Training still hasn’t tabled a financial report for 2015, some 700 days after it was due.

“The Gippsland community can have no confidence in Federation Training’s financial stability, governance or performance when its annual report is more than 700 days late,” Ms Ryan said.

“Student numbers have declined drastically across Gippsland and, after leaving the organisation to fend for itself for two years, Daniel Andrews needs to step in and fix this crisis immediately.”