TAFE SA inquiry on course debacle to be held in NSW

A HIGH level parliamentary inquiry into the TAFE SA saga will hold its first and only hearing in Sydney — more than 1000km away from the hub of the crisis.

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. AAP Image/Phillip BiggsSource:AAP

 

A HIGH level parliamentary inquiry into the TAFE SA saga will hold its first and only hearing in Sydney — more than 1000km away from the hub of the crisis.

Federal Labor is being accused by its opponents of “running scared” from South Australians by using its control of the Senate committee to hold it interstate.

Labor had already held back the first meeting of the inquiry until February, despite the final report being due on February 28, — just two weeks before the State Election.

It comes as State Education Minister Susan Close revealed the most students who were still waiting to graduate from affected courses would have their certificates within weeks.

“Students who have for all intents and purposes completed their courses but are awaiting their parchments are being worked through one by one with their employers to ensure that the assessment which was deficient is able to be remedied and their able to receive their parchments,” she said.

Dr Close said a “war room” of lecturers and assessors were working through the 10 courses under scrutiny to prove it was able to deliver the courses to the Australian Skills Quality Authority’s “satisfaction”.

Extra places had been offered at private providers for students who were “hesitant’ to study at TAFE, she said.

But Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham said it was an “indictment” on the State Government that it was turning to private training organisations which it had “cut off” to “rescue them because of their failures in managing the TAFE system”.

Minister promises review after report slams TAFE SA courses

Senator Birmingham called on Federal Labor to move the Senate inquiry hearing to Adelaide.

“Labor are running scared from the scrutiny of the SA public and media,” Senator Birmingham said.

“This is a blatant attempt to keep the hearings out of sight and out of mind.”

The Liberals, Greens and Nick Xenophon Team supported the parliamentary inquiry into the failures of TAFE SA, which forced the national skills auditor to consider suspending enrolments in 14 courses. Labor opposed it.

Federal Labor did not respond to a request for comment on the location of the hearing. The Advertiser understands Labor would only agree to that one date when committee deputy chair Liberal Senator Linda Reynolds had other commitments in Sydney, despite alternatives being offered.

Originally published as TAFE SA inquiry set for … Sydney

 

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