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Federal Govt delivers what Andrews Labor Govt refuses to

Wednesday 10 May 2017

Country Victorians will get the vital investments they need after the Federal Liberal Nationals Government delivered for the projects that Daniel Andrews refuses to fund.

Investments in rail and road infrastructure projects in regional Victoria and new agriculture initiatives for our primary producers were welcome commitments in Tuesday’s Federal Budget.

The $8bn inland freight rail line from Melbourne to Brisbane will take trucks off our roads and cut the cost for farmers to transport their product to port.

While Daniel Andrews refuses to spend a cent of State Government money on his $1.45bn wish list for regional rail, the Federal Liberal Nationals Government has invested $1bn in regional rail and other infrastructure projects.

This includes a $100 million investment in the north east rail line – five times more than was allocated in Labor’s unfunded wish list – and $290m for track duplications and upgrades on the Gippsland line.

These projects are fully funded and will deliver real benefits for country rail passengers who are sick of the Andrews Labor Government’s announce first, fund later approach.

I welcome the more than $4.1 billion investment in agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors and the $4bn Regional Investment Corporation which will support growth in our rural and regional communities.

The Federal Liberal Nationals have delivered where the Andrews Labor Government refuses to.

Regional Victorians deserve better than Labor’s offer of scraps off the table after the $9.7 billion sale of the Port of Melbourne lease.

The Federal Budget delivers funding and vision for infrastructure and rail for country Victorians who have been abandoned by the Labor Premier for Melbourne.

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No report from Gippsland’s Federation Training

Friday 5 May 2017

Daniel Andrews has abandoned Gippsland’s Federation Training at a time when a strong and stable training system has never been more important to the Latrobe Valley.

Skills and Training Minister Gayle Tierney tabled TAFE annual reports on Tuesday, minutes before the 2017-18 Victorian State Budget was announced.

For the second year in a row Federation Training has failed to publish an annual report.

Shadow Training, Skills and Apprenticeships Minister Steph Ryan said Daniel Andrews must immediately step in.

“The Latrobe Valley community can have no confidence in Federation Training’s financial stability, governance or performance when its annual report is more than 700 days late,” Ms Ryan said.

“At a time when youth unemployment has risen to 14.9 per cent, it’s important young people can have confidence in local training options.

“Student numbers have declined drastically across the Valley and after leaving the organisation to fend for itself for two years Daniel Andrews needs to step in and fix this crisis immediately.”

There were 2400 fewer Gippsland students in training in 2015, compared to 2014, according to the 2015 Victorian Training Market Data report.

Member for Morwell Russell Northe said higher education offered vital opportunities to reskill and upskill in the Latrobe Valley, after significant local business closures.

“At a time when we’ve lost 750 jobs at Hazelwood and hundreds more in the local forestry industry are facing uncertainty, we need a strong training system to make sure local people can reskill or upskill,” Mr Northe said.

“Daniel Andrews and Gayle Tierney must urgently offer Federation Training the support it needs to get the books sorted out.”

The 2017-18 State Budget papers reveal the Andrews Government has now cut $45 million from training and will review typical transparency measures that show there’s been a significant drop in students enrolled in training.

“Gayle Tierney is so distracted dealing with Victoria’s crime tsunami that she has dropped the ball on training,” Ms Ryan said.

“Daniel Andrews must immediately step in to offer Fed Training the support it needs to get up-to-date.” 

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Taxes up 20%, but Daniel Andrews cuts $45m from training

Wednesday 3 May 2017 

Victorians are now paying for ten new taxes under Daniel Andrews, but the funds won’t be used to fix the state’s broken training sector. 

Instead, Labor has cut $45 million from the state’s training budget, while thousands of young people drop out of vocational education in Victoria.

Under Daniel Andrews, there are now:

  • 122,597 fewer students enrolled in government-subsidised training
  • 168,432 fewer government-subsidised course enrolments
  • 56 million fewer student contact hours delivered

The participation of young people in training has also declined by 6.6 per cent.

Labor is so desperate to hide its failed TAFE ‘rescue’, that it plans to stop publishing training enrolment numbers and other key performance measures (Budget Paper No. 3, Output Performance Measures for Review, p363).

Daniel Andrews’ cuts to training are hurting young people who want to work towards a new career and the most vulnerable in our society. 

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Labor must reinstate life-saving teacher training

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Background

Daniel Andrews has cut the delivery of life-saving anaphylaxis training in Victorian schools.

Until late 2015, Victorian teachers were required to undertake face-to-face training in the correct use of adrenaline autoinjector devices, which can also be used to treat severe asthma.

Since 2016, only two teachers per school are required to undertake face-to-face training to administer the life-saving treatment.

There is no requirement that all teachers undertake training and schools that wish to fund teachers to undertake the course face-to-face instead of online must now find the money from their own budgets.

Despite recent fatal Thunderstorm Asthma events, Health Minister Jill Hennessy today refused to commit to reinstating this life-saving training.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Training, Skills and Apprenticeships Steph Ryan

The administration of adrenaline could save kids’ lives and Daniel Andrews must reinstate this life-saving training immediately.

Only offering training to a select few not only puts Victorian students at risk, but could leave a teacher in the distressing position of being underqualified to respond in an emergency.

Labor’s reckless cuts have left Victorian schools exposed if a critical incident was to occur during school hours.

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Country Vic going backwards under Labor

Tuesday 6 December 2016

 

A report released today by SGS Economic and Planning has shown that regional Victoria’s economy shrank by 1 per cent in 2015-16, making it the only area in all of Australia to have its economy go backwards.

Shadow Minister for Regional Development Tim McCurdy said “regional Victoria is going backwards under Daniel Andrews and his city-centric Labor Government”.

“Under Daniel Andrews, country roads and bridges funding has been spent in the Premier’s own city electorate and regional rail commuters have been stranded for days due to Labor’s failure to maintain the rail lines,” Mr McCurdy said.

“Whether it is taking an axe to the Country Fire Authority or leaving country roads in disrepair, regional Victorians have been the biggest losers under Daniel Andrews’ Government.”

Mr McCurdy said Daniel Andrews has no plan to manage Victoria’s population growth.

“More than 90 per cent of Victoria’s population growth is centred on Melbourne, an unsustainable situation that hurts both the city and the country,” Mr McCurdy said.

“The Liberal Nationals are developing a comprehensive plan to manage the huge growth in Victoria’s population and make sure regional Victoria is a beneficiary of the opportunities population growth provides not a loser from it.”

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Half-year training update months overdue

The Andrews Labor Government are hiding the extent of Victoria's training crisis, failing to release the half-yearly update on the state of our TAFE and training sector.

Steve Herbert's time-keeping skills are on par with his dismal record-keeping skills.

We are nearly to the end of the year and have no idea of the state of our training system after the Andrews Labor Government failed to release the half-yearly update for 2016.

It is now months overdue.

Steve Herbert leaves a shameful legacy of plummeting training enrolments and $175 million in cuts to student training at TAFE.

Gayle Tierney has inherited a fragmented and struggling training sector from an incompetent Minister, but she shouldn’t cover for him by continuing to delay the release of the half-year data.

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Labor must come clean on Hazelwood closure

Member for Morwell Russell Northe has said reports this morning that the Hazelwood mine, one of the Latrobe Valley’s key employers, plans to close its doors in April are a “distressing” prospect for the local community.

“Jobs in the region are very hard to come by with unemployment currently at 19.7 per cent in Morwell. If the mine’s approximately 550 direct jobs and hundreds and hundreds of indirect jobs disappear it will snowball a growing unemployment crisis in the Valley,” Mr Northe said.

“Labor first slated closure of Hazelwood in 2010 – they’ve got their wish, so it would be a show of absolute ignorance for Labor to sit on their hands until Latrobe Valley workers are left without jobs.

“Labor must come clean now on what they know of this closure and what their plan is to keep jobs in the Latrobe community.

“The Nationals understand this closure would have a significant impact on the local community. I will meet with business and industry in the near future to discuss what can be done to ease this pressure on our local workforce.”

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Labor Minister abandons young Victorians

It was revealed this afternoon in a Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearing that Daniel Andrews’ Minister for Youth Affairs has completely abandoned young Victorians.

Questioning by the Liberal-Nationals revealed that Jenny Mikakos has abolished the Office of Youth from her department and removed Youth Affairs from this year’s budget output initiatives.

And despite being happy to answer Labor’s questions about other portfolios, when asked by the Liberal-Nationals how many jobs the Back to Work scheme will create for young people, Minister Mikakos said it wasn’t “her issue”.

She told the committee that creating jobs for young people was an issue that relates to the Minister for Employment’s portfolio.

This all comes at a time when TAFE and training enrolments have plummeted by 16 per cent and youth unemployment is as high as 17.1 per cent in parts of the state.

Comments from Shadow Minister for Young Victorians Steph Ryan:

“Instead of supporting young Victorians to undertake training and find work, Jenny Mikakos thinks creating jobs for young people is not her issue.

“Under the Andrews Government, TAFE and training enrolments have plummeted, youth unemployment is as high as 17 per cent and the Back to Work scheme is failing to create full-time jobs.

“Victoria’s young people deserve better.”

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Coalition questioning reveals Labor’s training cuts

Training and Skills Minister Steve Herbert has admitted to massive funding cuts to student training under questioning from Parliament’s Public Accounts and Estimates Committee.

More than $175 million in funding meant for student training was cut from the Victorian Training Guarantee, including $125 million that was returned to consolidated revenue.

A further $50 million of money earmarked for student training was instead handed out as general grants to “bolster” TAFEs – with no outcomes or deliverables attached.

The admission shows Labor has broken its pre-election promise to grow enrolments and restore TAFE.

The number of students in government-subsidised training has plummeted by 15 per cent under Labor but Mr Herbert today claimed “they’re not real numbers”.

Yet just last week he told Parliament: “The training system should not just be about shovelling bucketloads full of cash to providers so that they can get rich. It should be measured on the outcomes it provides for students, industry, jobs, productivity and economic growth”.

Comments from Shadow Minister for Training, Skills and Apprenticeships Steph Ryan:

“Steve Herbert and Daniel Andrews have completely backed away from their TAFE promises, abandoning young people trying to get the training they need to find a job.

“All we have seen since the Andrews Government came to office is cuts to training funding and plummeting student enrolments.

“Steve Herbert and Daniel Andrews have broken their promises to Victorian students and job-seekers.” 

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More young people without a job under Labor

More young people are without a job under the Andrews Labor Government.

ABS data released today show there are 9,453 fewer young people in full time work than when Daniel Andrews came to office 12 months ago. 

Statewide, there are 74,959 young people without a job.

Victoria’s youth unemployment rate is at 14.6 per cent, despite Daniel Andrews’ promise to create 100,000 new full-time jobs as part of the Back to Work scheme. 

Shadow Minister for Young Victorians Steph Ryan: 

“Daniel Andrews’ Back to Work scheme continues to fail young people in Victoria. 

“Daniel Andrews used to say that every job is worth fighting for but now Victoria's young people are getting nothing but excuses.

“The Andrews Labor Government doesn’t have an economic and jobs plan for Victoria’s youth. Daniel Andrews has a media plan, but he doesn’t have a jobs plan.”