Baillieu Government’s savage attack on education and training

Ms GRALEY (Narre Warren South) — The Baillieu government has set our young people up for further unemployment and longer jobless queues. In last year’s budget the Baillieu government cut $48 million from the VCAL (Victorian certificate of applied learning) program. Even after the terrible impact that has had on our young people, this year’s budget has failed to reinstate VCAL coordination funding. Narre Warren South P-12 College, the largest VCAL provider in the state, has lost $126 000 from its VCAL program.

Last week I picked up the local paper, and there was one of the most breathtaking acts of hypocrisy I have seen from any politician. The Minister for Education, who still spins the line that there have been no funding cuts to VCAL, was posing and presenting awards to VCAL students from the Narre Warren South P-12 College.

Outstanding students Lachlan Warner and Nathan Seeber deserve recognition for sure — my congratulations — as do their teachers for the support they give the students so they can be their best, but I bet the staff and students at the college would have liked a cheque from the minister for the $126 000 he has robbed from their school budget.

Ms GRALEY — After it has limited young people’s options at secondary school, the government now is taking the axe to our TAFEs. In this budget the Baillieu government has slashed $290 million from the TAFE sector. This has threatened the viability of many TAFE institutes, with directors unable to say whether their TAFEs will stay open. They have been left with little choice but to sack staff, cancel courses, close campuses or massively increase fees. Funding for Chisholm TAFE, in my electorate, will be cut by $25 million. The members of the Liberal-Nationals government should hang their heads in shame for their attacks on the education and the job futures of our young people. I say to the minister that the disingenuous media opportunities do not help.