The Greens always have and always will stand for publicly owned and operated and publicly funded vocational training colleges and TAFEs. The two major parties have used vocational training and TAFE as a political football for way too long. We have had enough. Through their bipartisan commitment to so-called contestability funding, public TAFE has been gutted. The closure of these two colleges by the Queensland Labor government should be condemned.
I had an amendment to remove the point about the Skilling Australians Fund, a point which only serves to muddy the waters. Unfortunately, this was not agreed to. This motion says these colleges are being closed because the Queensland government refused the Skilling Australians Fund. These colleges aren't being closed because they refused the fund; rather, the Queensland government has failed to properly plan and attract students to the Emerald and Longreach agriculture colleges. They need to be rebuilt, not torn down.