Following the recent Labor and Coalition policies on education, Senator Kerry Nettle education spokesperson for the Green, launched their $975 million policy at Ultimo TAFE in Sydney yesterday.
Nettle says that the money should be used in the existing TAFE sector to remove fees for vocational training. Of that amount, $50 million should be used to teach sustainable skills to boost the renewable energy industry. "The TAFE system should be at the forefront of turning Australia green, training renewable energy tradespeople," she said.
The Greens oppose the privatisation and commercialisation of the TAFE system. "The federal government has cut $300 million a year out of TAFE. State governments have followed suit and are putting up fees," noted Nettle. "Governments can afford to keep TAFE affordable and that means abolishing fees and charges for TAFE courses."
The Greens’ dream may become reality if minor parties regain control of the Senate from the Coalition. The Greens and The Democrats have agreed on a preference deal to strengthen their respective parties. Said Greens Senator Bob Brown, "no matter which party wins the keys to the Lodge, only a strong, independent Senate will hold the government to account".