BY LAURA WILLIAMS
The NSW Government has announced Scone’s TAFE campus has been purchased by Racing NSW for $4 million.
TAFE NSW will continue to deliver courses onsite at 2 Flemington Drive, for up to three years before it’s transformed into an equine training centre.
Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said the revenue secured from the sale will be invested in facilities across the Hunter.
These include a new multi-trade workshop for the Scone’s Connected Learning Centre, a welding workshop upgrade at TAFE’s Newcastle campus, the construction of new hair, beauty and business delivery spaces at Muswellbrook’s campus and the expansion of carpentry delivery at Belmont.
Minister Lee revealed during a response to parliamentary questions the decision to sell the campus was made on August 6 2020, the same day he met with Racing NSW, after it had expressed interest in buying the site.
Shadow Minister for Skills and TAFE Jahid Dib says assets shouldn’t need to be sold for the Government to invest in education.
“With such high youth unemployment across the Hunter, we shouldn’t be selling off assets to pay for higher education. The Government has to make a commitment that they want to believe in the value of education.”
He suggested developing partnerships with local industry to protect the Scone TAFE campus would have been a better option than selling the site.