TAFE timeline

RELATED: Hopes for TAFE

2004 — Sale Netball Association is told it must vacate its premises for a new East Gippsland TAFE to be built, with SNA president Joan Foat conceding the association was fighting a losing battle. The state government gives TAFE $85,000 for the planning stage to move from its Fulham campus to the site on the South Gippsland Highway. Subject to further state government approvals, construction work on the new TAFE campus is predicted within two years.

2010 — SNA moves, and Advance TAFE (as East Gippsland TAFE became) confirms move to South Gippsland Highway site.

2011 — The Gippsland Regional Sporting Complex is opened, becoming the new home for SNA.

February 2012 — Netball court demolition begins.

April 2014 — GippsTAFE and Advance TAFE announce merger, and expect to become part of Federation University in 2016. Staff redundancies are announced, and the Farmtech facility closes its doors and is subsequently sold.

January 2015 — According to head of its Sale and Traralgon campuses, Karen Bird, Federation Training will commit to Fulham “until a better solution for Sale … became available”. She describes the Port of Sale campus as “critical for Sale”. The former Advance TAFE reaches 10 years of planning to build a new campus at the Port of Sale, having secured funding to buy the site, but not a government commitment to fund the buildings.

August 2015 — Federation Training chief executive Wendy Wood says the low number of students at the Fulham campus cannot justify the large investment required to establish a new facility at the Port of Sale.

November 2015 — Ms Wood resigns.

June 2016 — Federation Training appoints Jonathan Davis as their new chief executive officer.

February 2017 — Federation Training management confirms a number of job losses, as well as a “reduction in some training courses”, in order for the training facility to “remain financially viable”. Unconfirmed reports indicate there were up to 80 job losses before Christmas, with more job losses earlier in the month.

March 2017 — Frustrated with the lack of action, Wellington Shire Council writes to Premier Daniel Andrews to request a meeting to discuss the future of Federation Training. Training and Skills Minister Gayle Tierney visits Fulham and the Port of Sale site to meet with Wellington Shire Council to discuss the provision of TAFE locally.

May 2017 — Federation Training reached 700 days without tabling an annual report in parliament, and opposition members walk out of a government hearing in disgust after the Labor chair tried to rule a question about Federation Training’s student numbers, staffing and finances as “out of order”.

July 2017 — Federation Training director Des Powell tells the annual general meeting that an announcement about the future of the Fulham campus would be coming “within the next few weeks”. After the meeting, managing director Jonathan Davis says Federation Training was “committed to ongoing discussions with the Wellington Shire to establish a new site in Sale”.

August 2017 — The state opposition makes an election promise to build a TAFE in Sale, if elected.

October 2017 — One hundred people attend a community forum are held to discuss the future of Federation Training in Sale.

December 2017 — Buildings at the old netball courts are demolished on the South Gippsland Highway site.

February 2018 — Fed Training chief executive Jonathan Davis resigns.

April 2018 — $1.96 million in state government funding is announced for TAFE in Gippsland. Nothing specifically for Sale.