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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

‘Grab for cash’ puts Scone TAFE’s future at risk

The NSW Teachers Federation has slammed the NSW Government’s decision to sell Scone TAFE to Racing NSW.

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee confirmed this week a deal was made with the organisation to buy the campus, believed to be worth $4 million.

It is understood Racing NSW plans to conduct equine training courses at the site.

As a result of the announcement, the NSW Teachers Federation will host a round table and community forum at the Scone RSL Club on Wednesday 31 March from 6pm.

“It is disgraceful that the sale process for Scone TAFE has been conducted with little or no consultation with industries outside racing and no input from residents,” president Angelo Gavrielatos said.

“Public assets like TAFE colleges belong to the community.

“The government of the day is merely the custodian for the period they hold office.

“The NSW Teachers Federation is appalled at the haste of the sale and the way the Berejiklian government has put the profits from selling off a public asset before the needs of the community.

“This sale casts real doubt on the long-term future of the Flemington Drive site once the three-year lease-back expires.

“At a time when we should be expanding the role of TAFE in regional areas, the NSW Government has sold off the campus to private interests.”

Mr Gavrielatos said the deal painted a bleak future for the educational institute.

“The Berejiklian government claims the sale is necessary to fund additional capital infrastructure but, in reality, it is forcing TAFE to cannibalise existing facilities to fund connected learning centres,” he added.

“This sale sets a precedent that puts all TAFE colleges at risk of being shut down and sold off.”

A TAFE Connected Learning Centre (CLC) was opened in Scone’s Main Street in July 2019.

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