A PROPOSED $28 million trade training centre for South West TAFE will now depend on support from a new federal Coalition government.
Despite land being purchased for the centre at the former Mitre 10 site on Raglan Parade in 2011, TAFE chiefs have been patiently waiting to hear if Canberra will kick in the cash to centralise all trade courses under the one roof.
South West TAFE chief executive officer Peter Heilbuth said the application with the Labor government in Canberra was unanswered.
“We are now awaiting the decision of the new federal government. We have spoken to Dan Tehan and requested that he attempt to find out what status our application has with the new federal government. We understand that this may take some weeks,” Mr Heilbuth said.
“If it turns out that the federal government funding does not come off, then we will carefully review other options.”
TAFE trades courses are spread across three different sites in Warrnambool.
“The current situation isn’t ideal,” he said.
‘‘Some of our automotive courses are here at the city campus.
‘‘Construction, building and joinery courses are held out at Deakin University and we have a few other bits and pieces on offer at the trade centre at Brauer College.”
Wannon MP Dan Tehan said he would lobby the government “in the next month”.
“This will be something that I raise,” Mr Tehan said.
“One way or another they need money for the site.”
He said Labor had left South West TAFE waiting 18 months and had allocated TAFE money elsewhere.
“They were short-listed and told they were in with a real chance until Rudd re-allocated the money,” Mr Tehan said.
A spokeswoman for state Education Minister Peter Hall said South West TAFE was a “priority” project for the government.
“In the 2012-13 budget the Victorian Coalition government allocated $25 million for a state co-contribution to high priority regional TAFE capital projects, through the regional priorities round of the Commonwealth government’s Education Investment Fund,” she said.
“South West TAFE’s trade training consolidation was one of the projects and a priority for Victoria under this scheme.
‘‘Unfortunately the previous federal government did not come to the table and meet the co-contribution arrangement for advancing these regional capital projects.”