NSW budget: not much money but pie in the sky

The government talks up TAFE funding

The big money is $1.85bn for TAFE, up 3.1 per cent. This includes not many new initiatives, a new construction trades TAFE in western Sydney, 100 000 free TAFE (and VET) courses over four years. The government has an answer ready for critics – stating that TAFE receives 80 per cent of skills spending. The per centage is there for a reason – during the federal election campaign, Labor promised it would allocate 60 per cent of national VET outlays to TAFE.

Other outlays include:

* $2.4 million ($8 million over four years) to establish at least another five country university centres across regional New South Wales

* $22.9 million ($47 million over three years) for “upgrading” primary industry research stations across New South Wales

* $12.5 million ($30 million over four years) to co-fund new on-demand clean energy projects with the private sector ($10 million to pilot recycling and re-using materials in solar panels and battery systems

* $15 million over five years for research associated with spinal cord injuries

*12m for a nuclear medicine hub

The government also announces it “will progress formal commercial negotiations” for multinational business and the universities of NSW, Newcastle, and Wollongong, with Western Sydney U, “to establish a presence” at the aerotropolis, to be built at Sydney’s second major airport.


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