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.
The community had made it clear at the meeting they wanted answers from their MP, Ms Car said.
”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.”
“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”.
He apologised for not responding to the invitation, saying it was “overlooked, due to an issue in my office”.
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 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.
Mr Evans said he was proud of the college, where he had taught hospitality.