Three years ago, while still in opposition, Tweed MP Geoff Provest signed a pledge to protect TAFE funding.
Now he has turned his back on the organisation as the government knocks the stuffing out of it, according to Labor’s candidate for the seat, Ron Goodman.
Goodman said that in opposition, Mr Provest had promised to protect and guarantee funding for TAFE, but in government, he had allowed privatisation of courses, increases in TAFE fees and cancellation of courses.
Mr Goodman made the comments on the third anniversary of Mr Provest’s public commitment.
On March 18, 2011 – on the eve of the state election – Mr Provest signed a public pledge from the NSW Teachers Federation called the ‘Invest in TAFE Skills Charter’.
‘Geoff Provest signed the pledge to guarantee TAFE funding and promising not to privatise courses. Now the National Liberal government has launched a cruel attack on the TAFE sector and it is a major blow to skills training,’ Mr Goodman said.
‘Before the election, Geoff Provest stood outside Kingscliff TAFE and said he would protect TAFE – but soon after the election when he got into government he headed to Sydney and allowed the education minister to cut the heart out of the training organisation’ he added.
‘The O’Farrell government has cut $80 million from TAFE – which includes slashing 800 teaching and non-teaching positions from within TAFE.
‘In regional, rural and coastal areas TAFE is the main provider for trades training and provides an opportunity to people who do not want to go to university.
‘Kingscliff TAFE has a strong working relationship with businesses and helps young people on the north coast get ready for the job market,’ Mr Goodman said.