Dawn Walker, NSW MP, is the Greens spokesperson on TAFE. On 23 June, she visited the shopfront in Dapto, which has replaced Dapto's former TAFE campus. There are no classrooms, no students, and not even any toilets at this shopfront.
Article in Illawarra Mercury, 24 June 2017
The NSW Greens MP Dawn Walker was expecting to be disappointed when she brought her ‘Teachers Not Terminals’ tour to Dapto on Friday.
But the Greens TAFE spokesperson was ‘’shocked’’ by the state of the Connected Learning Centre, brought in by the NSW Government to replace the ‘’once thriving’’ Dapto TAFE campus.
‘’It’s a small shop with no facilities, no toilet facilities and no library,’’ Ms Green said.
‘’I can’t see any teachers in there and most disturbingly I can’t see one single student in there.
‘’So Dapto has gone from having a vibrant TAFE with 600 students and over 100 staff to a glorified, ineffective shop front.
“Dapto was the first community to experience the harsh reality of the NSW Liberal-Nationals’ agenda to close TAFE campuses, cut teaching staff and replace face-to-face learning with online modules in leased shopfronts.
‘’This will have a devastating impact on the learning outcomes for many students, especially those requiring extra support services, and continues this government’s agenda to undermine our public TAFE system.’’
Ms Walker is concerned the NSW Government has no plans of stopping its privatisation plans and will continue slashing funding to TAFE.
‘’We’ve seen $105 million taken out of the recurrent budget. What we’ve seen with this government so far is 65,000 students gone from TAFE and nearly 6000 teachers slashed,’’ she said.
‘’TAFE is on its knees and the government is doing the dismantling of TAFE under the guise of its Connected Learning Centre model.’’
TAFE is on its knees and the government is doing the dismantling of TAFE under the guise of its Connected Learning Centre model
NSW TAFE Teachers Association president Annette Bennett is also ‘’angry’’ that Dapto TAFE has been reduced to a ‘’glorified information centre’’.
‘’Just one kilometre down the road we have a perfectly good campus that has served the community of Dapto for 40 years,’’ Ms Bennett said.
‘’Just today I was speaking to a lady called Ruth who got her start through TAFE and she is absolutely distraught that TAFE has been reduced to a shop front.
‘’TAFE needs to be funded properly again. The current funding system has gutted TAFE.
The current funding system has gutted TAFE.