WODONGA TAFE bosses say they’re confident of securing a portion of the $200 million funding announced by the Victorian government yesterday.
TAFE president Tony Brandt said the funding, to be spent on Victorian TAFEs over four years, was set up for regional institutes like Wodonga.
While he wouldn’t give a figure, Mr Brandt said Wodonga would get “its fair share” of the money.
“This funding is set up for regional institutes which don’t have financial reserves,” Mr Brandt said.
“We’re very pleased ... that we’ve always been pretty frugal and when the crunch came (during last year’s funding cuts) we didn’t sack 25 per cent of our staff.
“How much we get will depend on what we apply for.”
TAFE chief executive Michael O’Loughlin joined Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE chief executive Paul Culpan and chairman Michael Tehan at the announcement in Melbourne.
Mr O’Loughlin was more circumspect than Mr Brandt, saying time would tell whether Wodonga TAFE was a winner out of the funding.
“It’s too early to say how much of the $200 million we’ll see ... but we’re optimistic,” he said.
Mr O’Loughlin also said that talk of a merger between Wodonga and GOTAFE was in no way a foregone conclusion.
“It’s not something that would be in any way driven by the government,” he said.
“I don’t know (if Wodonga TAFE and GOTAFE will merge).
“It’s something that we have to explore.”
Premier Denis Napthine announced the funding, which reversed some of the $290 million the state government cut from TAFE in the latest budget.
Dr Napthine said the move would give TAFEs more control of their assets and allow them to operate in an increasingly competitive environment.
But Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said it would only cause more damage to Victorian TAFEs, particularly those in regional areas.
“Today’s announcement by the new Premier Denis Napthine is nothing more than an incentive scheme to force TAFEs into financially independent models while allowing them to close and sell off campuses,” Mr Andrews said.