Attempts by the Brumby Government to centralise and politicise the appointment of TAFE Institute board members will be opposed by the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition.
Legislation currently before Parliament states that all TAFE board chairs will be appointed by the Minister and all other board members will be appointed by the Minister on the recommendation of the chair.
Coalition Shadow Minister for Skills and Leader of The Nationals in the Legislative Council Peter Hall said the changes paved the way for political appointments ahead of the need for local knowledge and expertise on TAFE boards.
"John Brumby and his ministers have a poor track record of politicising the public service," Mr Hall said.
"Now John Brumby wants total control over TAFEs, despite Labor’s demand that TAFEs raise more than 50 per cent of their revenue through self-generated commercial activity.
"TAFE boards currently comprise between nine and 15 people, with at least half of those appointed by the Minister and the balance being locally co-opted members, and boards appoint their own chair.
"This approach utilises local knowledge and skills while maintaining a suitable degree of government oversight.
"John Brumby has not put forward any case for changing these arrangements, and unless he does the Coalition will continue to support local communities, local businesses and local TAFEs by maintaining the current local co-option arrangements for TAFE councils.
"The Coalition has tabled amendments to the legislation in Parliament, but with Labor’s guillotine preventing debate on these amendments we will be again introducing them in the Legislative Council.
"We will be seeking the support of the Greens and the DLP to stop John Brumby politicising TAFEs across Victoria," Mr Hall said.