Confidential TAFE plans leaked 

THE University of Ballarat has assured the Wimmera community it will not close campuses at Horsham, Stawell or Ararat.

It comes after confidential TAFE business transition plans that detail how providers will deal with funding cuts were leaked.

TAFE providers across the state, including the University of Ballarat, submitted transition plans to the State Government earlier this month.

However, details in the plans were leaked to ABC media on Thursday.

The plans included information about selling off TAFE assets, closing campuses, increasing fees and cutting staff.

A campus at Ararat was mooted as a possible sell-off.

The University of Ballarat's head of western campuses Geoff Lord said the university had 'no plans whatsoever' to close its Ararat, Stawell or Horsham campuses.

"I met with the deputy Mayor of Ararat on Thursday and reassured them of that fact," he said.

"It could have been referring to the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE which has a campus at Ararat, but certainly not us."

Member for Ripon Joe Helper said the government's $300-million worth of cuts would affect the NMIT's Ararat campus.

"The Ararat campus will be forced to make a significant 'organisational restructure' in an effort to manage its share of the funding cuts for NMIT," he said.

"The result will be the loss of 25 NMIT teaching positions and the closure of some programs and courses.

"There appear to also be preliminary plans to sell off part of the Ararat site."

Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford has called for the transition plans to be made public.

She said the University of Ballarat would lose $20 million as a result of the State Government funding cuts to TAFE.

She said Wimmera people particularly students considering their future study options deserved to know what the impact would be.

Greens spokesperson for Education Sue Pennicuik shared the sentiment.

"TAFE is publicly funded and TAFE campuses around Victoria have been built with taxpayer's money,"

she said.

"Taxpayers have a right to know what savage cuts the government has imposed will do to the public TAFE system," she said.

Premier Ted Baillieu has said he will not comment on the plans until the Department of Education reform panel makes its recommendations to government.


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