Lismore MP Thomas George is in the hot seat today as the community responds to the news the Murwillumbah TAFE campus may be sold.
Lismore MP Thomas George is in the hot seat today as the community responds to the news the Murwillumbah TAFE campus may be sold. Hamish Broome

Lismore MP Thomas George responds to outcry over TAFE

Lismore MP Thomas George says the NSW Government has not decided which of its TAFE campuses will be sold off and when, and that includes Murwillumbah's North Coast campus.

"No decisions have been made on specific assets," Mr George said. "There is a broader asset management planning process underway for TAFE NSW, just like any other government agency," he said.

"What's important is that TAFE is not leaving town."

He indicated students could continue studies at other sites, if not at Murwillumbah St.

"TAFE's growth in Murwillumbah in recent years has been off campus, such as out at Walls Quarry using new mobile delivery pods.

"This has seen more than 150 extra enrollments in the last 12 months - and none of these students have needed the campus."

Mr George said the sell-off of campuses has come as a result of state-wide financial re-structuring, and that profits made by selling Murwillumbah TAFE, if the a sale were to go ahead, would be put back into TAFE education.

"TAFE NSW was tasked with developing a plan for its assets back in November 2014 under the published State Infrastructure Strategy," he said.

"Whatever decisions are made, any funds obtained from any divestment would be reinvested in TAFE."

As a divestment, the sale of Murwillumbah's campus represents the most valuable asset on the North Coast, at a value of $2.96m.

Other proposed North Coast divestment options include Great Lakes ($1.48m, partial site), Maclean ($1.24m, full site), Taree ($0.24m, partial site), Trenayr ($1.85m, full site), and Ballina ($1.24m, partial site).

Mr George has not responded to questions about consultation in relation to TAFE closures; why there have been so many cuts to Murwillumbah, or if more cuts were on their way, and if he would fight to keep Murwillumbah TAFE open.

Updates to come.



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