Ms Pennicuik (Southern Metropolitan) -- My question is to the Minister for Higher Education and Skills. In statements the minister has made in this house and elsewhere he is careful when talking about the cuts to vocational education and training to justify them by saying there has been a blow-out in the training budget. Not so other members of the government.
The Skills Victoria training market quality report of this year shows the blow-out has, in fact, been in private training providers. There has been a 308 per cent growth in private training providers and only a 4 per cent growth in public TAFEs. However, other members of the government, such as the Treasurer and the Deputy Premier, talk in Parliament and are reported in the press as talking about an unsustainable TAFE budget. Will the minister make sure they are telling the truth with regard to this?
The PRESIDENT -- Order! I have trouble with this question. For a start, there is a reflection on ministers in another place. The implication is that they are not telling the truth. I have concerns about that.
I also have concerns about the fact that Ms Pennicuik is asking a minister to tell other ministers to tell the truth. I find that a rather contorted question. I suspect that might be because Ms Pennicuik was running short of time. I invite her to put a precise question to the minister, but not the one that she has offered at this point.
Ms PENNICUIK -- Thank you for your assistance, President. I presume the minister would agree with statistics from the -- --
The PRESIDENT -- Order! The member should ask a question, but certainly not a question asking that the minister make sure that other people do not lie and that they tell the truth. I request that the member put a pertinent question to the minister that falls within his jurisdiction and responsibility.
Ms PENNICUIK-- Other members of the government are contradicting the minister -- --
Honourable members interjecting.
The PRESIDENT -- Order! I ask Ms Pennicuik to put the question.
Ms PENNICUIK -- I ask the minister: what is the accurate picture with regard to the increase in student enrolments and costs in vocational education and training?
[Speech was interrupted here... select page number to view full debate]
Ms PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) -- The minister has confirmed what I was saying, which was that the blow-out has been with the private providers. The other justification is that there has been a ballooning of courses.
Why is it then that the cuts that the government is making in the budget to the TAFE sector are resulting in the loss of well-established courses in TAFE institutes, both metropolitan and regional, that have been running for years -- some up to 20 years -- with well-established infrastructure?
In addition, because of the cuts to the public service provision some institutes are losing well-established infrastructure, such as the library at Chisholm Institute of TAFE. Why will the government not pull this back? It does not fit with its justification about a blow-out in courses when it is actually cutting across courses that have been there for a long time.
The PRESIDENT -- Order! There was a seed of a question there at about the 25-metre mark.