Labor promises more funding for TAFE Queensland ahead of election


By Laura Daly

Today on the campaign trail the Australian Labor Party has promised more money to vocational education and TAFE facilities.

Deputy leader of the ALP Tanya Plibersek announced a $40 million plan to build a new campus at North Lakes.

The project is set to be co-funded by the State Labor Government, who will provide half to necessary funds to build the campus.

Corrinne Mulholland, the Labor candidate for Petrie, said the development will be a much-needed facility for the growing area.

According to Ms Mulholland, the project will provide more educational opportunities for young people.

“It will mean that our young people can get jobs of the future, getting world-class skills training right here in North Lakes,” she said.

Ms Plibersek said the project was a game changer for the area, and an opportunity for both younger and older members of the North Lakes community to thrive.

“There are construction jobs, there are ongoing teaching jobs, but also a vote of confidence for the young people that live in this community make sure they have the opportunity of learning a trade and for the older workers to retrain, to upgrade their skills, to make sure they can continue to advance throughout their professional lives,” she said.

She said Labor is able to commit to the funding as they aren’t planning to give tax cuts to those in the “top end of town”.

Chris Whiting, the state member for Bancoft, thanked the federal ALP for their commitment to improving the lives of locals in the community.

“This will change lives in our area, and it will open up endless opportunities in our region,” he said.

Education has been one of the key issues at the forefront of Labor’s campaign promises throughout the federal election, having previously committed $440 million to Tafe, with $200 million going towards upgrading existing campuses.

Earlier in the campaign, the ALP announced they would create 100,000 fee-free places for Tafe students.

They had also announced plans for one in ten jobs on all major infrastructure and defence projects to be filled by an apprentice or trainee, and a guarantee at least two out of three dollars of public funding would go towards Tafe.

In Queensland, Tafe currently serves more than 120,000 students every year and said it will be an exciting opportunity to better meet the needs of local students, and expand the opportunities available to them.

Mary Schnider, who is current Tafe student at the Bracken Ridge campus agreed, and said she thinks Labor’s commitment to Tafe is an important step forward for the future.

“It’s great, I think Tafe definitely needs a lot of help and needs more funding, so it’s great.”

She said travel time is often an issue for many students, so new campuses like the one proposed in North Lakes wold be more convenient for students like herself.

The project is yet to have a starting date, but Tafe Queensland said a consultation process will take place to assess and identify the needs of the new campus and prospective students before a construction timeline is set.