ABOUT 50 students and teachers at Blacktown’s Nirimba TAFE protested over the state government’s funding cuts to TAFE last Wednesday.
They were joined by Greens Member of Legislative Council, John Kaye who discussed what can be done to stop the damage.
Western Sydney TAFE Teachers Federation organiser Sharryn Usher said the cuts would affect students studying agriculture, business administration, adult literacy and horticulture at the Quakers Hill campus.
‘‘They may have to travel across the region to find another class or switch to another course,’’ she said.
‘‘We also fear the cuts will cause about 800 teachers and support staff to lose their jobs.’’
A Doonside student said if government funding was cut she would have to pay about $8000 instead of $55 to continue her art course this year.
Mr Kaye said the government’s devastating attacks on TAFE would add to the damage done by 16 years of Labor’s funding cuts.
‘‘For a Premier who promised to rebuild western Sydney, this is a body blow to the opportunities Nirimba TAFE has provided to the region’s young people,’’ he said.
‘‘Without the full range of skills and education that Nirimba provides, the Blacktown region and western Sydney face a troubling future.’’
He said the Coalition’s agenda included cutting 800 positions across the state, increasing fees by an average of 9.5 per cent and abandoning TAFE to unfair competition with low quality private providers.
Mr O’Farrell recently described the cuts as ‘‘difficult but necessary’’.
Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said the $1.7 billion in cuts to education were ‘‘necessary belt tightening’’.
He said they were elected to govern and to make tough decisions.