Heathcote MP Lee Evans says a Labor MP’s claim Loftus TAFE could close was “a complete lie”.
This follows comments at a forum on TAFE at Tradies Gymea on September 29 by Opposition spokeswoman for skills, Prue Car.
Addressing Ms Car in Parliament, Mr Evans said, “You, as the Opposition spokesperson, came out to my electorate and said that Loftus TAFE was closing”.
“That is a complete lie, and I call you out.”
After an objection the term was unparliamentary, Mr Evans withdrew it and said, “You misled the public. How is that?”
In a media release the day after the event, Ms Car said it was disappointing Mr Evans had not attended or even responded to an invitation.
”Last night it was revealed that there is concern the Loftus TAFE campus will be closed in the future,” she said.
“This comes in light of minister John Barilaro’s own admission in budget estimates that the government would not rule out selling off TAFE campuses.”
Ms Car said community members who attended the Gymea event wanted answers from their local member.
“The Baird government is taking an axe to local TAFE campuses and members of parliament are in hiding,” she said.
“Questions remain unanswered about the Loftus campus, which is potentially being closed as a part of Mike Baird’s ruthless privatisation agenda.”
Mr Evans told Parliament, “This is Labor scaremongering at its finest”.
“I apologise for not responding, but the invitation was overlooked due to an issue in my office”.
“Having said that, my diary was booked a month ahead and I suspect the Opposition spokesperson does not have as much to do as I do.
“She is trundling around the ‘burbs, whipping up hysteria about TAFE. “
Mr Evans said enrolments at Loftus TAFE were up 60 per cent on the same time last year, and he listed other positive trends.
He said he was very proud of the college, where he had been a teacher of hospitality.
Mr Evans said TAFE NSW was “developing a strategic asset management plan to ensure training was matched with the changing needs of students and employers”.
“Where vacant land or underutilised facilities are sold, every dollar will be re-invested into modernising and improving TAFE facilities and learning platforms for the benefit of students,” he said.