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News Archive

Thursday, 21 March 2013


“After ripping $290 million out of the TAFE system – in one year – the Liberal National Coalition Government has thrown the TAFE sector a paltry $50 million a year in competitive funding,” Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards said in Parliament yesterday.

“Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE (BRIT) owns and operates its main campus at the historic School of Mines building (c.1873) in McCrae Street.”

“Rumours are now rife in Bendigo that BRIT will be forced to sell off assets, including the McCrae Street historic building, to meet the Government’s demand for a return on assets.”

“When given the opportunity in Parliament on Tuesday to allay the fears of the Bendigo community, the Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Peter Hall, could not, or would not, guarantee that BRIT would not be forced to sell off its assets,” Ms Edwards said.

“The Minister was asked twice to clarify his position on the possible sale and twice he evaded the question.”

“This building has been synonymous with public education in Bendigo for one hundred and forty years.”

“BRIT is already suffering decreasing enrolments, has been forced to cut 31 courses and 77 staff have lost their jobs because of the Liberal National Coalition Government’s determination to destroy public skills and training in this State.”

I demand that the Premier and his Minister for Higher Education and Skills make additional funding available to BRIT so that there is no temptation to sell off the historic School of Mines building.”

“I also call on the National Member for Northern Victoria, Damien Drum, to finally stand up for BRIT and support this demand for additional funding to save this historic public education facility,” said Ms Edwards.

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