Melbourne Polytechnic Greensborough Campus

Mr BROOKS (Bundoora) — Greensborough TAFE campus, which is so important to my local community and which was shut down due to the cuts inflicted on the TAFE sector by the Liberals and Nationals, will see students return at the start of next calendar year. Yes, the Andrews Labor government has delivered on its commitment to reopen Greensborough TAFE campus. After working with Melbourne Polytechnic to carefully analyse training needs in the Greensborough catchment, the government has confirmed that students will return to the campus in 2017, with the campus back to full operation in 2018.

People in the north-eastern suburbs will not quickly forget the Liberals’ closure of this TAFE campus as part of its $1.2 billion cut to TAFE over its four disastrous years in office. Along with the closure of campuses, jobs were cut, fees were hiked up and courses were cut. Even specialist courses for Country Fire Authority firefighters were axed under the Liberals and The Nationals.

The Andrews Labor government has reinvested in TAFE, moving the sector’s finances out of deficit and into surplus. We are now getting campuses like Greensborough open again. After a consultation process chaired by the member for Eltham and after Melbourne Polytechnic considered the research, it has been decided that the campus will focus on three main areas: health and community services; business and entrepreneurship; and science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The Greensborough campus will also be home to the new Banyule Tech School, which will be accessible to kids in all local schools. It will focus on technology and innovation, and importantly it will work closely with local businesses.

I wish to commend the member for Eltham for her work, along with the Minister for Training and Skills and the Minister for Education. The difference between the Labor and Liberal parties could not be more stark when it comes to education and skills. Where the Liberals cut and closed, Labor has invested and expanded. When the Liberals turned their back on the people of Greensborough and the north-east, Labor stood with the community, and it is now delivering an even better training presence.