Education and Skills Community Services Media releases

Labor refuses to release Fed Training details

Thursday 18 May 2017

Training and Skills Minister Gayle Tierney refused to provide basic information about Federation Training during a budget estimates hearing yesterday. 

Opposition MPs walked out of the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) in disgust after the Labor chair tried to rule a question about Federation Training's student numbers, staffing and finances out of order. 

Ms Tierney told the committee that she would not provide the information because it was "commercially sensitive", despite other TAFEs around the state publishing the same information in their annual reports. 

Labor's cover up comes after Federation Training failed for the second year in a row to publish its annual report, with no reports provided to Parliament for 2015 or 2016, putting it in breach of the Financial Management Act

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

Labor is trying to hide the dire state of Federation Training by claiming data published by other TAFEs is suddenly commercially sensitive.  

It's no wonder Gayle Tierney and Harriet Shing don't want this information published when Federation Training has cut staff, courses and student support services. 

More than 123,000 students have disappeared from Victoria's training since Daniel Andrews became Premier and students now have less chance of finding a job.

Quotes attributable to The Nationals Member for Morwell Russell Northe

Labor has walked away from Federation Training when the Latrobe Valley has never needed it more. 

Under questioning in Parliament and at committee hearings, Gayle Tierney was incapable of answering even basic questions about Federation Training's finances and student numbers.

Education and Skills Community Services Media releases

Students less likely to find a job under Daniel Andrews

Wednesday 17 May 2017

Just half of students enrolled in vocational education and training in Victoria are more likely to get a job as a result of their training.

In a trainwreck performance before the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee, Training and Skills Minister Gayle Tierney said student numbers had declined because Labor was improving the quality of training. 

But just 50.6 per cent of students completing a VET qualification last year had improved employment prospects (Victorian Budget 2017-18, BP3, p188).

In 2014, 76 per cent of students graduating found employment within six months (Victorian Budget 2015-16, BP3, p365). 

Ms Tierney also refused to provide information on the number of students enrolled, staff numbers or the government funding provided to individual TAFEs, claiming the data was "commercially sensitive", despite such data having been published under successive governments. 

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

Not only have we seen a 30 per cent decline in student enrolments, but under Daniel Andrews students are now less likely to find a job.

The Andrews Labor Government is desperately trying to cover up the dire state of the TAFE system in Victoria and its failed ‘rescue’.

More than 123,000 students have disappeared from Victoria's training since Daniel Andrews became Premier and students now have less chance of finding a job.

Agriculture Environment Regional Development Infrastructure Community Services Media releases

Liberal Nationals commit to securing jobs in the Valley

Wednesday 17 May 2017

An elected Liberal Nationals government would be committed to keeping jobs in the Latrobe Valley.

Unemployment was up 50 per cent in the past two years in the Valley, even before 750 people lost their job at Hazelwood Power Station in March.

Wood processor Carter Holt Harvey yesterday flagged closure of its Morwell sawmill which would mean a further 160 people would lose their jobs.

The Treasurer claimed just two weeks ago Labor is ‘creating jobs, but we’re also focused on protecting jobs’.

Instead, Labor’s destructive policies and ideology has led the Latrobe Valley into a jobs crisis.

Comments attributable to Opposition Leader Matthew Guy

The Morwell community has been hit hard by Daniel Andrews’ tax on coal that shutdown Hazelwood and forced 750 people out of work.

A government I lead would make sure Victoria has a secure and affordable electricity supply into the future by keeping the Loy Yang and Yallourn power stations open.

Comments attributable to Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh

Daniel Andrews’ desperation for greens preferences in the city has created turmoil in our forestry industry.

A Liberal Nationals government would work with industry to return confidence to our forestry businesses, and that includes a commitment to work with Australia Paper to ensure this major employer has a strong future in the Valley and a secure supply of timber.

Environment Regional Development Education and Skills Infrastructure Energy Community Services Media releases

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.

Agriculture Environment Community Services Media releases

Community celebrates dumping of the dump

Friday, 5 May 2017

The Nationals MPs Danny O’Brien and Melina Bath have congratulated the South Gippsland community on a successful campaign to ‘dump the dump’ at Leongatha South.

Mr O’Brien and Ms Bath joined community campaigners at the site after news that multinational waste firm Veolia had abandoned any plans it had to pursue the proposed rubbish dump in a disused quarry.

“This was a project that was sprung on the community by Veolia and presented as something of a done deal. What the company didn’t anticipate was the fantastic community campaign that mobilised almost instantly to oppose the dump,” said Mr O’Brien.

“I was please to table in State Parliament almost 3,000 petitions against the proposal and the community campaign made it clear that South Gippsland did not want Melbourne’s waste.”

Ms Bath said, as a local resident, she was equally concerned about what the dump would have meant.

“I give great credit to the Dump the Dump group which pounded the pavement, collected signatures and prepared a significant campaign against the dump idea.

“I also pay tribute to the businesses that hosted the petitions and leant their support to the campaign.”

Mr O’Brien said neither the Gippsland nor metropolitan waste planning groups had accepted the need for the dump at Leongatha South, denting any credibility it had to proceed.

“We know we have to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and Gippsland will accept the responsibility for dealing with its own waste - Melbourne should too.

“I am disappointed that having raised community anxiety about this issue, that it took follow up from us to confirm it was now dead. That is disrespectful to the community and Veolia’s behaviour in this case has been poor.”

 

CAPTION: The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien and Member for Eastern Victoria, Melina Bath celebrating the dumping of the dump with concerned community members Wendy Reed and Les White.

 

Education and Skills Media releases

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.” 

Agriculture Environment Media releases

Taxes up 20% but Daniel Andrews cuts $32 million from agriculture

Thursday 4 May 2017

Despite slugging country Victorians for ten new taxes, Daniel Andrews has slashed Victoria’s Agriculture budget.

Labor has cut $32 million from the Agriculture spend in the 2017-18 State Budget, despite pushing up taxes by 22 per cent.

No amount of Labor spin can hide this reduction and fears of Agriculture being swallowed up within the super department are ringing true.

Daniel Andrews and Jaala Pulford are bragging about a surplus, but have failed to put any new funds into productivity-focussed research and development programs.

Instead they are misleading Victorians on a ‘new’ $85 million biosecurity spend on existing programs and re-announcing funds already flagged for Labor’s go-it-alone eID scheme.

This Budget confirms the Andrews Government has no vision for the future of Victoria’s agriculture sector.

Yet again Labor has splashed cash on Melbourne while giving regional communities the scraps off the table.

Education and Skills Community Services Media releases

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. 

Health and Aged Care Community Services Media releases

Taxes up 20% but cuts to mental health

Tuesday 2 May 2017 

Daniel Andrews has announced ten new taxes in two years but has effectively cut the number of residential mental health beds. 

The Government's own budget papers show that Daniel Andrews is failing Victorians struggling with mental illness by cutting the number of mental health beds.

Buried away on page 244 of Budget Paper number 3 is the disclosure that the government fell around 16,000 short on residential bed days this year and have wound back their target next year by a further 12,000 bed days.

Daniel Andrews likes to brag about his doctored Code 1 ambulance figures, but his own budget papers show that Victorians in the midst of a mental health crisis are being let down.

The Andrews Government has failed to meet its target of 75 per cent of emergency patients being admitted to a mental health bed within eight hours - falling a whopping 15 per cent short.

Daniel Andrews is not only the highest taxing Premier in Victoria’s history, he’s the highest taxing Premier in Australia.  Despite being the highest taxing state, with a $10 billion windfall from the Port of Melbourne lease, this budget fails to deliver for on the ground mental health support for people in crisis. 

Media releases Regional Development Transport Infrastructure

Country Victorians duped on regional rail announcement

Monday 1 May 2017

Daniel Andrews and Jacinta Allan announced a $1.45 billion regional rail package on Sunday, but have refused to spend a cent of state government money.

The media stunt, which has no plan, no business case and no funding, was badged as a ‘huge investment’.

Just two years ago, Daniel Andrews claimed a business case was essential for every project, but now expects the Federal Government to hand over $1.45bn for a project with no plan and no business case.

Comments attributable to Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh

This was a cynical media stunt from Daniel Andrews and Jacinta Allan, designed to mislead regional Victorians.

There’s no plan, there’s no business case, there’s no state government funding – this is just another empty promise from a Premier who loves to tax regional Victoria but refuses to invest in our communities.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Public Transport David Hodgett

Daniel Andrews has ignored country Victorians for two years and now he’s ignored his own advice, making huge promises and then failing to provide a business case or invest a cent of state government money. 

The Andrews Government has left the regional rail network to deteriorate and now expects the Federal Government to foot the bill to fix it.