A SELL-OFF of Glenormiston College equipment by South West TAFE has raised concerns from community leaders about undermining the site’s value.
An equine treadmill conditioner, steriline training gates and a large generator have all been advertised by TAFE for sale by tender, with sources estimating the value of the combined goods to be more than $80,000.
Corangamite Shire mayor Chris O’Connor said he was concerned TAFE was selling off infrastructure that was purchased by former tenants Melbourne University.
The university gave up its lease eight years ago with South West TAFE taking over shortly after.
“I’ve spoken to both TAFE and the administrators over the past few months and they confirmed to me then that they would not be gutting the college,” Cr O’Connor said.
“I was told they would only be selling equipment that South West TAFE had purchased and not anything that was existing when they moved in.
“I’d be most concerned if TAFE are selling goods that they hadn’t purchased originally and were part of Glenormiston College.”
The Corangamite Shire mayor said Glenormiston College’s infrastructure should be retained to ensure the property was usable for agricultural education or related purposes.
“Having spoken to the Minister (Peter Hall) previously, he assured me that proper governance would be observed and that existing goods would remain in the premises,” Cr O’Connor said.
Sources have told The Standard the treadmill conditioner costs roughly $59,000 while the starting gates would sell for around $20,000.
It is uncertain how much the diesel power generator would sell for.
A spokeswoman for South West TAFE declined to comment on whether the items were part of the college when the vocational education group took over in 2006.
The spokeswoman said many programs previously held at Glenormiston College would be provided at the TAFE’s other campuses.
“To support this we are transferring much of the equipment purchased by South West TAFE during its tenancy at Glenormiston, to other campuses,” the spokeswoman said.
“Some South West TAFE assets located at Glenormiston College, deemed in excess of business requirements, are currently being offered for sale by tender.
“Glenormiston College, after being vacated by South West TAFE, will be left in a state where another organisation, subject to undertaking some essential maintenance works, would be able to use the accommodation facilities including the commercial kitchen and recreation areas and the indoor equine arena.”
A spokeswoman for Higher Education Minister Peter Hall said the state government was “committed to finding a long term solution” for the college but did not have control over its equipment.
“In the interim, the Department of Education ... will maintain and secure the site while a thorough consultation process is undertaken,” the spokeswoman said.