Restaurant keeps its doors open

DESPITE being thrust into a difficult climate, a key Gippsland facility will strive to continue servicing the needs of the community.

Central Gippsland Institute of TAFE confirmed its popular Waratah Training Restaurant would remain open, despite being impacted by the State Government’s $300 million budget cut to Victoria’s TAFE sector.

This decision was confirmed by the institute last week, with the Latrobe Valley community welcoming the good news.

Express Facebook readers unanimously approved of the institute’s decision, following fears GippsTAFE would close the restaurant, as a result of government changes to TAFE funding.

“We have committed to retaining the Waratah as a valuable training asset and are pleased to confirm the continuance of a number of hospitality programs in 2013,” GippsTAFE acting chief executive Ian Carroll said.

“We’re doing our best to serve the needs of the community; we’re trying to keep on as many good people as we can.”

Mr Carroll said as the institute’s commercial cooking and kitchen operation courses would “continue to be funded at the appropriate rate”, he hoped those courses would attract an increase in enrolments, which would “substantiate some of the costs” of keeping the restaurant running.

He added the institute was also considering hiring “some outside staff” to run the front house operation of the restaurant, but maintained such a decision had not been finalised yet.

“The Waratah (restaurant) is a substantial facility and it would be a shame to see it close,” he said.

“The State Government funding cuts have forced us to make some difficult decisions including saying goodbye to a number of valued staff and great courses.

“GippsTAFE is however committed to adapting to the new education environment and will continue to offer a diverse range of programs under the State Government’s new funding regime.”