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TAFEs in the red even before COVID-19

The latest Auditor-General’s report comparing Victorian TAFEs has confirmed that the sector lost $43.8 million in 2019 with 8 of 12 individual TAFEs recording losses.

The report covers the year ending December 2019 and does not include the impact of COVID-19 which is expected to make the results much worse.

The result for 2019 is a massive and concerning decline from 2018, when 11 of 12 TAFEs recorded positive results and the sector generated a surplus of $67.7 million.

TAFEs in regional Victoria fared the worst with the Gordon, Goulburn Ovens, and South West TAFEs each recording massive losses of between 10-20 per cent of revenue and being rated as at high financial risk by the Auditor-General.

The Auditor-General found that while TAFE sector revenue fell to $1,206 million, expenses blew out by 8 per cent to $1,253 million resulting in the deficit.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Gordon Rich-Phillips:

“TAFE in Victoria was deeply in the red even before COVID-19 hit and it is only going to get worse this year.

“Our country TAFEs are among the worst hit, and the government must ensure they can continue to deliver courses to regional communities.

“The Andrews Labor Government has mismanaged TAFEs finances at a time when Victoria can least afford it.”

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