Signatures demand rethink on trades centre location

Federation members and Bega locals are calling for a moratorium on the construction of a TAFE trades centre.

The multi-trades hub is planned for the town’s old hospital site, in Auckland Street. In 2016, the local council purchased the site with the intention of creating a tertiary education hub but plans for a tertiary education centre with Wollongong University and other tertiary education and employment organisations fell through.

Participants at a community forum on 4 February welcomed the NSW Government’s $17 million investment in a TAFE trades centre in Bega but believe that with no tertiary education hub to be developed at the Auckland Street site, the location of the trades centre should be reassessed.

The gathering felt the money would be better invested in a trade centre at the Barrack Street TAFE college, which is earmarked for closure in 2021.

Forum participants signed correspondence to the Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee, requesting a delay in the construction of the TAFE trades centre at the old hospital site and consideration for building the trades centre at the TAFE college in Barrack Street.

They also discussed the ongoing campaign to ensure the NSW Government does not close and sell the Barrack Street site.

Federation will continue to support local campaigning to ensure the trades centre is built in a location that will best serve the South Coast community. The union is seeking a meeting with Mr Lee to discuss the needs of TAFE students, teachers and support staff, to achieve optimum return for the investment in a new trades centre in Bega.