Government MP feels heat

Theo Bougatsas

Ryde-Macquarie teachers Association President Janine Kitson speaks out at the forum

The Coalition’s policies received a fiery reception from voters at a recent meet the candidates forum.

Ryde MP Victor Dominello faced forthright questioning about TAFE funding and TAFE student fees.

His response was that it was “all about the economy” and that “accountability was the way to go”.

Labor candidate Jerome Laxale stated TAFE was an investment, not a cost.

He said both Ryde and Meadowbank TAFE colleges were “on life support” and reiterated Labor’s policy of capping contestable funding for private providers at 30 per cent of government vocational education and training funds.

Greens candidate Justin Alick said: “The new state of business should be about a better state not about opening the floodgates [to private providers].”

He spoke about the Greens’ support for a “fully-funded TAFE” and reiterated the Greens positive record on matters concerning TAFE.

Christian Democrat candidate Julie Worsley, a public school teacher, spoke about her favouritism for school vouchers.

Audience members also voiced considerable concern about the sell-off of poles and wires and high-rise building approvals.

The event was hosted by Meadowbank West Ryde Progress Association.