By William Kulich. 4 May 2012, 11.41 AM.
Cuts in the state budget are set to have “a major impact” on GippsTAFE, with 35 jobs expected to go and courses facing closure.
GippsTAFE CEO Dr Peter Whitley said the State Government’s $300 million cut from TAFE funding in the 2012-13 budget will see courses cut.
“The state budget announcement will have a major impact on GippsTAFE’s finances and will unfortunately see the demise of some courses at GippsTAFE,” Dr Whitley said.
Eastern Victoria Region MP Matt Viney said GippsTAFE will have to close its hospitality department to cope with the cuts.
“GippsTAFE have announced that as a result of the Liberal government’s cuts, the hospitality department will be shut down and about 35 staff members will lose their jobs,” Mr Viney said.
“The Baillieu Liberal Government has cost a further 35 local teaching jobs and ripped the heart out of GippsTAFE.”
Narracan MP Gary Blackwood told The Warragul Citizen the cuts “have become necessary” due to rising costs, and funding will be directed to training in skill shortage areas.
“The reduction in subsidies will mean that $1.2 billion will be available this year which is still an increase of $300,000 on what was budgeted last year,” Mr Blackwood said.
“The government has put an extra $1 billion over the next four years into vocational education and training which will target areas of skill shortage.”
Meanwhile Mr Viney has raised concerns about the actual amount of funding to be delivered to the Warragul Station redevelopment in this budget.
The government announced on Tuesday it had committed $10.7 million for new parking and a bus loop south of the station, but Mr Viney says only $3.2 million has been allocated in this budget.
“Mr Blackwood is attempting to cover up his failure to deliver on his election commitment,” Mr Viney said.
“Less than a third of the money to be spent on the car park and bus interchange has been allocated in this year’s budget.”
Mr Blackwood insisted the commitment will be met in this budget.
“This years Budget has allocated $10.69 million to the Warragul Railway Precinct Project. This will enable the construction of the carpark and the finalisation of design and costings for the rail underpass,” Mr Blackwood said.
“Both these projects will be completed by late 2014, which delivers our election promise of providing $17m for these projects.”
The budget will come into effect on July 1.
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