Labor’s TAFE promise exposed

Jeremy Rockliff,Minister for Education and Training

Labor are now desperately trying to defend their ‘free TAFE’ sham which does not offer free courses to everyone, or fund a single new training place.

Yesterday, Labor did not rule out cutting courses or places under her tricky promise, in a media release which just generated even more questions.

Labor has claimed their ‘free TAFE’ is “fully costed” at $10 million a year, but yesterday admitted that would only cover 5000 training placements – despite TasTAFE currently offering more than 22,000 placements this year.

Nor does $10 million a year even come close to covering course fees collected each year by TasTAFE.

Labor’s deception becomes even clearer when you divide the $10 million they have allocated by the 5000 placements promised, which means they have ‘costed’ courses at $2000.

However 17 of the most popular courses at TasTAFE in growth industries such as nursing, plumbing, electrical and carpentry are above that figure and would on that basis be excluded under Labor’s promise.

A Diploma in Nursing wouldn’t be free, neither would a Certificate III in Plumbing or Carpentry.

Labor have failed to explain who would pay and who wouldn’t, or which specific courses of the more than 200 offered by TasTAFE would be free – instead, only listing some generalised industry areas.

Ms White needs to come clean and stop the pretence right now that her ‘free TAFE’ one-liner means ‘all TAFE places would be free’ under Labor’s scheme, because they wouldn’t be. Labor’s “free TAFE” would only be for a select few.

When they were last in Government Labor dismantled TAFE under their disastrous ‘Tasmania Tomorrow’ reforms and then, for an encore, saddled TAFE with a $2.5 million debt – which the Liberals had to fix.

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