Dandenong TAFE Students Rally

A large group of Dandenong TAFE students rallying at the steps of Parliament on August 12th with a clear message: "NO HECS FOR TAFE; FAIR FEES FOR ALL".

Photos of action on Facebook

Info about the campaign against the regressive changes to TAFE introduced by Brumby and the ALP here: www.tafe4all.org.au



Post from Tafe4all website by Anna Kelsey-Sugg

Talk about people power: not only did the human and car traffic stop, honk or yell in support at yesterday’s TAFE4All protest, but the large group of TAFE students from Dandenong, chanting "No HECS for TAFE; fair fees for all”, also drew the attention of prominent state members of parliament who joined the protest.

Colleen Hartland and Sue Pennicuik from the Greens, Peter Hall from the Nationals and Brad Battin from the Liberals joined in the TAFE4All rally at Parliament House, leaving the Labor Party as the party not to show up.

In a rare agreement, both the Greens and the Coalition expressed their view that increased TAFE fees, reduced eligibility for government-supported TAFE places and the abolition of TAFE concession fees were simply unfair.

Sue Pennicuik said the Greens' policy is no fees in TAFE: "I don’t accept the argument that increasing fees and making people pay such exorbitant costs will make it easier to get educated – it’s just not logical," she said.

Peter Hall said the Coalition is against the TAFE changes: "I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that the Government wants more people to access training and get educated but in order to do this they’ve increased the fees," he said.

Students' stories drove home both of these arguments with evidence about students being disadvantaged by the Government's changes.

A father of four said he was concerned about funding the completion of his own studies, as well as the study of his four young children.

A woman with a disability explained she may be slugged $13,000 to complete her course, with which she wants the qualifications to advocate for others with a disability.

A young man from Sierra Leone spoke of the struggle for newly arrived immigrants who are surviving on social income to afford to get skilled and get an education in their new country.

Three stories of many to emerge from the protest - three reasons of many to overturn the unfair TAFE changes.

Everyone else agrees the TAFE changes are unfair, Brumby; when will you see it?