Today on Public Education Day the Greens have given notice of a Bill that would bring TAFE SA back into public management.
TAFE SA was ‘corporatised’ in a 2012 Weatherill Government Act which the Greens were the sole voice of Parliamentary opposition to at the time. The Greens have vowed to make the issue a 2022 state election priority.
Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:
“Back in 2012 we warned the then Labor Government that they were headed in the wrong direction, and that corporatisation would fail our students and our state. Under this Government we have only seen the situation get worse. We need to untie the noose of corporatisation and restore a strong public TAFE sector with proper Government accountability, and the Greens Bill will do just that.
“Public institutions belong in public hands and should be funded for the public good. The Parliament got this one wrong but the damage can still be undone. The then Minister Kenyon-led corporatisation experiment has thoroughly failed. The Malinauskas Labor Opposition if they are honest will admit their predecessor’s error here.
“Labor and Liberal Governments have failed TAFE, cutting courses, cutting staff, cutting funding and cutting the quality of courses delivered. This is not to mention as well the closing down of multiple TAFE campuses, that has had a particularly adverse impact on students in regional and rural areas.
“The Greens are proud defenders of both public education and a strong TAFE system. We opposed the corporatisation of TAFE from the very beginning, and for the very reasons we are now seeing dog our VET sector. The sector is limping along when it should be setting the pace, and it’s providing worse and worse outcomes for both students and staff.
“This is why the Greens want to put TAFE back in public hands. It is essential for our future yet we are treating students and staff in the system as second class, underfunding and cutting classes while the Government scrambles to fund substandard private sector providers. In our recovery from the pandemic we should be building back with TAFE as a key part of our recovery pathway.