Negotiating for immunity

LATROBE City will plead for an exemption from Victoria’s severe TAFE sector cuts at a meeting with Higher Education and Skills Minister Peter Hall next week.

“In the event of a significant downturn I think this TAFE funding is at the core of some of these issues and we need to advocate for that,” Latrobe City Mayor Ed Vermeulen said.

“To be realistic about the meeting, I don’t think it will be possible to achieve a reversal of the budget but we will be making some suggestions to find other ways to exempt this area from the ($300 million) TAFE cut.”

In the wake of the state budget released this month, GippsTAFE announced there would be job cuts as a result of the funding slash.

Cr Vermeulen said “special circumstances”,treatment which the region was demanding, were justifiable. “This is certainly warranted by everything that is going on, in particular (with regard to) the future, and low carbon transition,” he said. The mayor declined to shed light on council’s suggestions but said they had a “couple of ideas”. “It will leave us in less of a negotiating position if I go into detail; I think it is better to discuss that first hand and let Mr Hall be privy to it,” Cr Vermeulen said.