State government cuts to TAFE funding have prompted talks between Hunter students, teachers and politicians in Newcastle today.

Courses including Fine Arts and Boat-building are subject to the cuts, which the Greens say will be devastating to the economic and cultural prosperity of Newcastle.

TAFE provides a pathway to disadvantaged students, notably in Fine Arts where some Novocastrians may lack the means to enrol in university to pursue their vocational interests.

NSW Greens MP, John Kaye, says the O’Farrell government needs to restore funding or the cuts will further damage Newcastle’s vibrant arts scene amid news grants to the Renew Newcastle project have been scrapped.

“The O’Farrell government is in deep trouble in the Hunter,” he says, highlighting the problem Premier O’Farrell faces in the region’s electorates.

“The Renew Newcastle program has been cut and now we’re seeing TAFE – both Ship-building and Fine Arts being slashed in the Hunter.”

The talks are being held in a bid to lobby the state government’s decision.