Greens education spokespeople Senator Sarah Hanson-Young and Tammy Franks MLC are calling out both the state and federal Labor parties for trying to hide from scrutiny surrounding the crisis hitting TAFE in South Australia.
“Labor tried to block Friday’s Senate inquiry from taking place and have used political tricks to get it out of Adelaide. They’re naïve to think that moving this inquiry interstate means what is revealed is not going to make it back to SA,” Senator Hanson-Young said.
“The Greens believe this scandal needs to be fully investigated, and the sooner the better, which is why we supported this inquiry. This is about the future of students’ education – and lives – and should not be interfered with by a party facing a tough election campaign in SA.
“It’s ludicrous to try and sweep this issue under the rug in Sydney while South Australian students are in limbo. The Greens played a crucial role in establishing a federal VET ombudsman and I congratulate Tammy Franks on her push to establish a state-based ombudsman here in SA,” she said.
Tammy Franks MLC said: “Labor says they stand up for South Australia but you can't do that by putting the hearings for a TAFE SA inquiry in Sydney.
“Federal Labor can't be trusted to sort out the mess State and Federal Labor has made of TAFE. This is why the Greens’ call is for an independent VET Ombudsman, restoration of full (state) Ministerial accountability to the Parliament on TAFE and for a return of industry skills boards.
“The Greens are proud defenders of a strong TAFE system. We opposed the corporatisation of TAFE for the very reasons we are now seeing dog our VET sector. It is limping along when it should be setting the pace. But a Senate inquiry on the other side of the country won’t fix TAFE in South Australia.
“To ensure that we get to the bottom of problems and provide real solutions for students, staff and industry, a VET Ombudsman must be installed as a matter of urgency.”