The need to rebuild TAFE

I will have to check whether TAFE offers a public speaking course. Out in the real world people are relying on those of us on this side of the House to save TAFE from the clutches of those opposite, who are ideologically obsessed with privatisation. As the member for Wyong says, the structural undermining of TAFE has been happening for years both through the closure of TAFE campuses and through the use of the contestable funding model for the delivery of TAFE courses. Our students, our communities and our teachers are suffering.

First, the Premier hired a new TAFE managing director—the bloke who privatised buses and ferries. She put someone into that top job on an obscene salary. Secondly, the Premier engages two experts for her TAFE review, both with loyal and strong connections to the Liberal Party and one with a penchant for privatisation. Thirdly, under this lot TAFE has been neglected and gutted. The facts are cuts year after year after year, 5,700 fewer teachers, 175,000 fewer students and 33 per cent fewer apprenticeships since 2012. There is obviously nothing to see there!

My contribution will be brief. Communities are looking to the Labor Party to re‑establish the strong links that existed between the vocational education sector and the good public education sector. They are scathing of and angry and disgusted with the gutting of TAFE. People talk to us every day about the gutting of TAFE. The Opposition will speak on behalf of the students who cannot undertake the courses they want and on behalf of the communities who talk about the importance of public vocational education and of TAFE. I will speak on behalf of my TAFE and Teachers Federation colleagues who are out there busting their guts each day to save TAFE and are trying to step in and fight against what the Government is doing. They are horrified when those opposite state in this place that they support TAFE. It is rubbish. It is the members on this side of the House who will save TAFE. I thank the member for Lakemba for his work in this area. The Labor Party commits to rebuilding TAFE once it kicks that lot out.