Documents labelled 'cabinet-in-confidence' obtained by the ABC expose plans for the closures or amalgamations of TAFE campuses including sell-offs of public assets and further course reductions, staff losses and increases in course fees.
"These documents show what we unfortunately expected due to the savagery of the government cutbacks to TAFE," Greens spokesperson for Education, Sue Pennicuik said today.
"Our public TAFEs provide a pathway to over 365,000 Victorians every year. This government is destroying TAFE, leaving thousands of school leavers and retrainers with nowhere to go," she said.
"The information should never have been secret in the first place," Ms Pennicuik said. "TAFE is publicly funded and TAFE campuses around Victoria have been built with taxpayer's money, so taxpayers have a right to know what the savage cuts the government has imposed will do to the public TAFE system."
"TAFE colleges have been forced into this by government cuts that are totally unnecessary," Ms Pennicuik said. "There has been no blowout in TAFE enrolments. The blowout has been in the private trainers, due to the disastrous market contestability introduced by the previous Labour government."
"The Skills Victoria training market quality report shows that there has been a 310 per cent growth in private training enrolments and only a 4 per cent growth in TAFE enrolments. So why is the government making these massive cuts to TAFE?"
"On top of all this the government has voted down my motion for a parliamentary inquiry into reports of widespread training rorts by private Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), which is seeing students ripped off by RTOs that are running substandard courses," Ms Pennicuik said.