Teachers condemn NSW government over Scone TAFE sale.

The NSW Teachers Federation has condemned the NSW Government’s bid to sell off the state-of-the-art Scone TAFE campus in Australia’s equine capital.

The sale coincides with a skills crisis and comes as the community attempts to rebuild from the COVID pandemic.

NSW Teachers Federation President Angelo Gavrielatos said TAFE NSW had failed to consult adequately with staff, students and the local community before putting the TAFE campus up for sale.

For the past six years, the NSW Government has deliberately allowed enrollments at Scone TAFE to run down so it can claim the site is under-utilised and the sale is in the public interest,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

Scone TAFE has modern stables, a riding area and farrier’s workshop featuring the same equipment and latest technology being used by the horse breeding and training industry.

Training facilities like this are hard to replace and we’re just incredulous the Government wants to sell Scone TAFE when it is vital to the training needs of the community.”

Mr Gavrielotos said the local community would be deeply concerned that Nationals MP for Upper Hunter Micheal Johnsen had failed to defend his local TAFE college and instead had publicly endorsed the sale of the site.

Mr Johnsen needs to understand that communities across NSW value the training opportunities TAFE provides for young people.”

And the NSW Government should remember it is the custodian of resources such as this, not the owner.”

In a media statement, the Member for Upper Hunter, Michael Johnsen, said he had no objection and I strongly believed the facility should remain as a local educational place for equine and agricultural courses, delivered by a registered training organization.

We have an opportunity to enhance the equine training capabilities in the horse capital and cement our place as a global player in equine excellence. This will fit in with the future plans and job opportunities within our equine and agricultural industries,” Mr Johnsen said.

If a suitable purchaser is interested, any net funds from a sale of the site should be invested in capital upgrades for other local TAFE NSW facilities.

Scone does of course have a new world class TAFE NSW facility at our Connected Learning Centre and many courses are able to be delivered through the CLC and offsite, which is particularly suitable having TAFE NSW teachers delivering courses where students are often employed, and thereby taking away the burden of having students being required to travel when they don’t need to.