“This is an absolute game changer for the people of the Bega Valley who are set to benefit from a TAFE presence rivalled by few others across the State,” says TAFE Minister, Adam Marshall.
The comments came as a bulldozer moved soil around on what will become a new hub for learning in Bega.
An extra $17 million dollars has been invested into Bega TAFE, with the existing Barrack Street campus to close, replaced by a new facility on the corner of Auckland Street and McKee Drive, next to the old Bega Hospital.
Today’s announcement takes the total allocation for new TAFE facilities in Bega to approximately $25 million with the minister in town just three months ago to start the $7.8 million TAFE Connected Learning Centre (CLC) project on the same site.
“The Government is committing an additional $17 million to establish a state-of-the-art campus right next door to the Connected Learning Centre currently under construction and nearing completion,” Mr Marshall says.
“Together these facilities will turbocharge TAFE’s presence in Bega and offer students the best in modern learning spaces and the opportunity to study a huge range of courses never offered before.”
The new facility will allow TAFE NSW to introduce a significant range of hands-on courses in Bega, including agriculture, bricklaying, carpentry, electrical, early childhood education and care, health services, and plumbing.
Member for Bega Andrew Constance says, “For too long people in the Bega Valley have been forced to travel to places like Cooma, Moruya or Nowra to access the training they want. That’s about to change with this truly exciting announcement.”
LIVE with Andrew Constance MP, Member for Bega and Adam Marshall MP, TAFE Minister.The Barrack Street TAFE NSW Bega campus is to close, and a new campus to be built on the corner of Auckland St and McKee Drive. More to come.Ian
Posted by About Regional on Sunday, 9 December 2018
Planning for the new $17 million campus will commence shortly, it is anticipated that the new facility will be completed by 2021, while the Connected Learning Centre is due to open in February 2019.
The existing TAFE campus on Barrack Street will remain open and operational in the meantime.
Mr Constance says the future of the existing campus is yet to be decided but says it, “won’t be required.”
“This [Auckland Street] is going to be a brand new TAFE with a Connected Learning Centre, it will be all centered over here, a seamless education precinct in the heart of Bega,” Mr Constance says.
“TAFE as of 2021 will be here [Auckland Street] it won’t be over there [Barrack Street].”
In outlining the plan Mr Constance says the library, commercial kitchen, and training restaurant used by students at that Barrack Street site will move across to the new site, as well as office and admin support.
The Minster says investing the $17 million into the existing campus was considered but, “but this was by far and away the best option, to move to a greenfield site.”
“The advantage of doing that is that we can continue TAFE delivery unimpeded at the existing campus and then simply make the transition across,” Mr Marshall says.
Labor candidate for Bega, Leanne Atkinson has described the new facility as a stripped down, shop front version of the Barrack Street campus.
“It makes no sense to me that they would rip this campus down to rebuild a lesser facility,” Ms Atkinson says.
Labor claims that since the Liberal/National coalition came to government in NSW 5,700 TAFE teachers and support staff have been sacked.
According to Shadow Skills Minister, Prue Car enrolments have fallen by 72,105 in the past year, while fees have skyrocketed.
“If they were serious about Bega TAFE they would be spending money on the existing campus – not ripping it down to build a glorified shop front,” Ms Car says.
Under a Daley government, Ms Car says Labor is committed to redirecting at least 70 percent of all NSW VET funding to TAFE NSW.
Mr Constance has slammed his rivals for talking down TAFE.
“Today is the largest investment, a historic investment, this is not an election commitment, money is allocated, this is not contingent on an election outcome,” he says.
“It’s great to see an education precinct come to life which is going to include the university, the high school and now our wonderful TAFE facility.”
Take a look inside the new Bega TAFE campus:
A truly exciting announcement for the Bega Valley… the NSW Government today announcing an additional $17 million to build a new, state-of-the-art TAFE NSW campus in Bega, right next door to the Connected Learning Centre currently under construction.This new facility will give students in Bega access to a significant range of new hands-on courses, including Agriculture, Bricklaying, Carpentry, Electrical, Early Childhood Education and Care, Health Services and Plumbing. The people of the Bega Valley deserve the best access to education and training – that’s why I’ve been fighting hard to see our local TAFE completely revilitalised and transformed into an education powerhouse.
Posted by Andrew Constance MP on Sunday, 9 December 2018