Builder is set to go

WORK is set to begin within days on the Port of Sale TAFE campus, with a builder appointed and ready to go.

The announcement means TAFE Gippsland’s long-awaited new $25 million campus will soon begin to emerge from its greenfield location between Punt Lane and York St.

Training and Skills Minister Gayle Tierney announced the appointment of McCorkell Constructions as the builder of the campus on Wednesday.

She said the campus would deliver education and training facilities for a range of industry and academic disciplines that would meet local industry and community needs and provide quality training for students across the region.

The development will provide purpose-built facilities for a variety of courses including health and social services, early childhood, carpentry, engineering and the automotive trade.

TAFE Gippsland chief executive Grant Radford welcomed the announcement, saying it would be “deeply satisfying to see the new state-of-the-art facility finally become a reality”.

“Our Port of Sale campus will continue to deliver on the training needs of the local industry, our partners and the community with its central location, while also ensuring our students and staff have access to the first class facilities they deserve,” he said.

“We understand that this new campus has been in the pipeline for some time, and it will deliver a quality vocational training experience and first class training facilities suited to a range of local industry disciplines.”

Mr Radford said the current growth in vocational training in Wellington Shire had been great news for the Sale region and the surrounding community.

“Free TAFE has seen solid course growth in vocational training in the Sale region and that has prompted an expansion and refurbishment of our centrally-located Flexible Learning Centre campus, along with the retention of our Gtec campus which delivers VCE and VCAL studies to students in a supportive niche location,” he said.

“We look forward to the minister visiting our important project as we celebrate a host of campus redevelopment projects across our Gippsland community.”

Eastern Victoria MLC Jane Garrett also welcomed the announcement, saying when completed, the new campus would “deliver more opportunities to learn new skills and gain qualifications that will lead to good paying local jobs in Gippsland”.

The Port of Sale campus construction will begin within days, and the project will be completed in late 2021, with the first students to begin in February 2022.

The new TAFE campus has been designed by Victorian architects GHD Woodhead Architecture.