Pressure to reveal how it will revitalise the Alanvale campus as TasTAFE moves to consolidate its operations has been raised in Parliament for a second day.
Debate over ongoing funding issues and TasTAFE's announcement that it would close the Launceston city campus and consolidate to Alanvale continued on Wednesday, with Opposition skills spokeswoman Michelle O'Byrne challenging Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff over the details of the plan.
Ms O'Byrne also detailed issues TasTAFE students had raised with her, along with the course delays and teacher recruitment problems raised in The Examiner on Monday.
"He [Jeremy Rockliff] has not increased the core funding for TAFE," Ms O'Byrne said.
"TAFE have had to increase their fees by 3 per cent. TAFE are being forced to find ways to make money to survive. That is what is going on here.
"When the government says they have given additional money it is for new additional things that are happening elsewhere. It is not to support the core responsibilities and the core engagement that TAFE has been providing."
Mr Rockliff defended the government's decision to consolidate courses at the Alanvale campus and said the government had inherited any structural issues within TasTAFE.
"Since 2015 we have increased recurrent funding to TasTAFE from $73.5 million to $76.5 million in the 2018-19 financial year. This represents about 80 per cent of the state's training budget," he said.
"We are investing in critical infrastructure some $15.5 million. This year we provided an additional $2.9 million for more teachers and more training places in priority industries."
Mr Rockliff pointed to TasTAFE's recent registration with the Australian Skills and Quality Authority as evidence of its success.
"You do not receive seven years' worth of re accreditation, the maximum possible term, unless you are performing at the top of the national regulation standards. We should be hearing congratulations from those opposite rather than criticism of those in TasTAFE."
Ms O'Byrne called on the government to detail how it would consider the consolidation of the Launceston city campus to Alanvale.
"There are issues with the age of the site and the purpose nature of the site. There are issues with parking and there are issues with access for students," she said.
Mr Rockliff said he believed the government's $4 million investment in the Alanvale site would refurbish it into a modern facility that is fit for purpose for Launceston students.
"I have recently toured Alanvale and do not share the very dim view of the deputy leader of the Opposition in that sense [that Alanvale is not fit for purpose]. In fact, I thought the campus had a very good feel to it. Yes, it is a facility that I imagine was built in around the mid-1970s because it was a college at one point," he said.
Greens Leader Cassy O'Connor said the party would always be a "proud supporters of vocational education" and called on the government to guarantee that the move from the Launceston CBD to Alanvale would lead to substantially better TAFE offerings.
"There was no extra investment into public vocational training. When you talk to young people who want to go to one of those course offerings, the price of a TAFE course is prohibitive for young people," she said.
"We will always be proud supporters of public vocational education andtraining and we strongly believe there do need to be centres of excellence in TasTAFE in Tasmania and we should be focusing on those areas of jobs growth in the future."