Ryan calls on Canberra for TAFE funding

DEPUTY Premier and Gippsland South MLA Peter Ryan has called on the federal government to provide funding for the planned Advance TAFE campus at the Port of Sale.

Mr Ryan said the state government had already provided $5 million towards the Port of Sale Advance TAFE project for land purchase, planning and early site works with a further $7.5 million budgeted and available once federal funding was committed.

“A $37 million investment is required to complete these facilities and the Victorian Government has applied for commonwealth funding through the Education Investment Fund to support this initiative,” Mr Ryan said.

“I would urge the federal government, particularly the Minister for Trade and Competitiveness Craig Emerson, who has responsibility for this area, to favourably view the Victorian government’s application to that fund.

“This is our first priority in the funding we seek from the federal government in this area.

“The government of Victoria has acquired the site at the Port of Sale, and the project is literally shovel ready.

“It would mean an enormous amount to the development and delivery of TAFE services in Sale and east Gippsland if this project were undertaken.”

Mr Ryan said the Port of Sale Advance TAFE project would involve the construction of a purpose-built VET and higher education facility, to relocate training delivery from Advance TAFE’s Fulham campus.

“When constructed it will be the only purpose built vocational and higher education facility between Traralgon and the New South Wales border,” Mr Ryan said.

“It will deliver a modern teaching and learning centre, providing continuing education and pathways into higher education in Gippsland.”

Mr Ryan said Advance TAFE had existing partnerships with the University of Ballarat, Deakin University, Monash University and RMIT University and numerous degree qualifications would be run in partnerships with these institutions.

“Investment in the project will contribute to a range of national policy goals including training targets for the 20-64 age group set out in the National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development,” Mr Ryan said.

“It will expand vocational and higher education collaboration and meet national VET priorities through boosting tertiary education participation and access in Gippsland.

“The Coalition government is strongly committed to this project and is prepared to make further contributions, and I would be very grateful if the federal Labor government were to commit funding towards this important project.”