Education motion passes lower house

An amended motion that calls for South Australia’s House of Assembly to recognise the importance of TAFE as a major education provider in regional South Australia has passed. Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell was the architect of the motion, which before an amendment called for the Lower House to recognise the importance of TAFE as a major education provider in regional South Australia.

In addition, the motion called for the Lower House to establish regional TAFE boards, comparable to the model used for regional health boards, with financial and course autonomy and ensure the boards be accountable and responsive to their communities. While the motion had the support of several members in the chamber, an amendment was made by the Education Minister John Gardner who shifted the wording on two of Mr Bell’s motion’s points.

Namely, that instead of moving to establish regional TAFE boards, the House of Assembly consider establishing the boards and instead of ensuring the boards be accountable, regional campuses should be accountable and responsive to their communities. However, there was no division over recognising the importance of TAFE in the regions.

This amendment subsequently received the support of Hammond MP Adrian Pederick, as well as that of Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni. “I would like to thank the members for Giles, Wright, Morialta, Hammond, Frome, Light and Unley for their contributions today on this very important topic,” Mr Bell told the House of Assembly in response to the amended motion.

“It is pleasing to see some agreement on moving forward and that is the intent of this motion to try to help pave a way forward that will improve TAFE but, more broadly, will improve vocational education, in particular for regional areas. “With that, I have had negotiations with the minister involved and will be supporting the amended motion.”

Mr Bell’s motion as amended was carried. TAFE SA has been contacted for comment.

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