NATIONALS MPs have called on the state government to release funds set aside for Federation Training by the previous Coalition government.
Speaking in parliament, Gippsland South MLA Danny O’Brien said $20 million of funding which was designated for Gippsland TAFE services had not yet been provided to Federation Training.
“Federation Training wants to relocate its Fulham campus into the Sale city centre and this funding is vital if it is to proceed,” Mr O’Brien said.
“We already have a site available at the Port of Sale or there may be other alternatives for Federation Training to consider. I know Wellington Shire Council and the Sale community are very keen to see the Fulham site moved and this $20 million is the perfect vehicle for it to happen.
“Melbourne Labor needs to get on board this strongly supported idea and ensure that the $20 million that was previously allocated by the Nationals in government is made available for Federation Training as soon as possible.”
Eastern Victoria MLC Melina Bath directly asked the Trades and Skills Minister Steve Herbert about the funding in upper house.
“The relocation of the Fulham campus is strongly supported by all involved and Steve Herbert should make sure that Federation Training has the means to make it happen,” she said.
“We need better local opportunities for young people and experienced workers to train or retrain and this would be a good start.”
Minister Herbert claimed the previous government had made funding cuts which “devastated training provision in Gippsland”.
“Their failed merger plans have greatly exacerbated the problem,” he said.
“In 2015 the Andrews Labor government provided an additional $7.9 million to Federation Training as part of the rebuilding process to ensure Gippsland residents have access to quality training.
“The $20 million was allocated to Federation University for the planned merger – which they will not be receiving as it’s no longer taking place.
“This government is determined to rebuild Federation Training and will discuss with the new CEO and board the best way to continue our support.”