Budget plea for TAFE

WELLINGTON Shire Council will ask the state government to allocate money in this year’s state budget to build a new TAFE campus in Sale.

Mayor Carolyn Crossley will write to Training and Skills Minister Gayle Tierney and Eastern Victoria MLC Harriet Shing with the request.

Council believes replacing the ageing Fulham campus with a new facility near the Port of Sale will address the inadequate provision of vocational training and education in Sale and the broader Wellington Shire community.

Councillor Darren McCubbin said a new TAFE campus would complement the recently-opened Wellington Centre, which includes a library and art gallery, at the Port of Sale.

“It’s a cultural hub . . . the missing piece of the jigsaw has always been the provision of TAFE services within this area,” he said.

“The synergies with this building and TAFE are obvious.”

Cr McCubbin said council had been pressing both sides of politics on the issue.

“Unfortunately, this long-running issue has been going on too long,” he said.

“We’ve had meetings with the minister before, and have certainly engaged in the process as we move along.

“I think everybody was excited by the number of people that sat around the table six months ago, when we were at the Criterion Hotel.

“We all saw, sitting around those tables, members of the community getting engaged in TAFE, saying the same things we’re saying — that TAFE is fundamental to the building of our capacity in our community of building the opportunities for our young people, creating skills in our community, educating our workforce for this year and into the future.

“The TAFE is fundamental for all that, and we simply want the government to give an assurance that they’ve not forgotten us and that they can move the inadequate TAFE from outside this town into the centre of town.”

The Liberal-National coalition last year promised to build a new campus in the Port of Sale area if it wins the November election.