TAFE campuses earmarked for sale

A TAFE NSW briefing note describes the Chullora site as “suitable for disposal, as it is vacant and surplus to TAFE NSW service delivery needs”. “Subject to the Minister’s direction, TAFE NSW will seek confirmation the site is not required for another government purpose, and if not, dispose on the open market”. The site has not been used since 2019.

The document says the Catholic Diocese of Lismore has approached Mr Lee and TAFE NSW about purchasing, or potentially leasing, a site in Murwillumbah in the far north.

Labor’s spokesman for TAFE and Skills, Tim Crakanthorp, said the government should be investing in hands-on training during a skills shortage and “not shutting down and selling campuses in western Sydney and regional NSW”.

He said the government was trying to move more TAFE courses online at the expense of face-to-face learning. He said the government had decided to sell Scone TAFE to Racing NSW after a Connected Learning Centre was established in the area.

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“If your town gets a Connected Learning Centre you can kiss your TAFE campus goodbye,” he said.

Labor plans to ask Mr Lee about the sale of TAFE campuses during a budget estimates hearing in Parliament on Thursday.

Mr Lee’s spokeswoman said since September 2020, he had approved the sale of an annexe at Goulburn that TAFE had not used for at least 10 years. “The site was divested in May 2021 well above reserve,” she said.

A TAFE site at Mudgee was also sold to the local council for use as emergency and crisis accommodation by not-for-profit organisations.

“Neither site had been recently used as a delivery facility and there is a TAFE NSW campus that continues to operate in both these towns,” the spokeswoman said.

The Scone site was sold to Racing NSW this year.

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