Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (12:12): I rise to speak to this motion by the member for Mount Gambier and note the amendment moved by the education minister. I note the original motion:

That this house–

(a) recognises the importance of TAFE as a major education provider in regional South Australia;

(b) moves to establish regional TAFE boards, similar to the model used for regional health boards, with financial and course autonomy; and

(c) ensures that these boards be accountable and responsive to their communities.

I note our amendment:

That this house—

(a) recognises the importance of TAFE as a major education provider in regional South Australia;

(b) considers establishing regional TAFE boards, similar to the model used for regional health boards, with financial and course autonomy; and

(c) ensures that regional campuses be accountable and responsive to their communities.

In supporting the amended motion, I acknowledge that TAFE does make and has made a valuable contribution to regional communities. Over time, though, some of the issues that have arisen when making TAFE the best training provider it could be relate to bureaucracy in the background in different governments over many, many years.

We could all name TAFE facilities that have been under-utilised, for whatever reason. I do not know. I have facilities in Murray Bridge. We have excellent workshop facilities, welding, machine work, mechanic facilities and trade training facilities, and they are extremely under-utilised, yet I have two schools in the region building their own trade training centres. I know in the past I have had discussions with people on my side of government, and with the opposition when they were in government, about making the best of facilities across the board so that general education providers can utilise the facilities.

That said, there has also been some excellent work done through TAFE. I know in Murray Bridge we have courses involving hairdressing. It is pretty simple to cut my hair: clippers and a few snips and an apprentice can do it pretty quickly. Other people demand a bit more attention. Also a valuable training part of the local TAFE in Murray Bridge is the aged-care training. As we all get older, most of us may need it into the future. That training is vital for aged-care providers across the board.

Currently, one of the great outcomes that we have assisted in as a government is the skilling of people in hospitality, working with our TAFE to train them up for the new hotel that is soon to be opened at Murray Bridge, the new six-storey Bridgeport Hotel. We have assisted with the funding of training people there. There are 150 jobs going into this hotel. I know from talking to the general manager, Mary-Lou Corcoran, who would not be unknown in this place, that there are 52 long-term unemployed. She has made sure that she is very inclusive with who she hires. People with all ranges of abilities are getting the training to bring them up to speed to function in that hotel.

One of the things that people are being trained for is the responsible service of alcohol. There are different courses online and we all know that volunteers, including ourselves if we want to work at the footy club bar for instance, have to have a responsible service of alcohol ticket. If you deal with the one where you have to use the videos, you may have different levels of success, but you can get through it.

What is happening with the hotel is everyone, whether they are assigned initially as hospitality staff directly in bar work or whether they are cleaners or room attendants, is getting their responsible service of alcohol as part of that training. Across the board, they are all having that opportunity to get the appropriate hospitality tickets to get through.

It was a pleasure to speak to one of these classes recently. I think they were a bit stunned. I said, 'I haven't got a ticket to do anything, but I have bumbled along and I suppose we are going sort of okay.' I did stress to them that they want to achieve all the levels of training that they can because it will only benefit them in the future.

That is a great thing that is happening as we speak. It is going to be a fast ramp-up. There is going to be some soft entry into the hotel in the next little while. Next week, there is a breakfast there and some of us are staying the night before. They will barely have the doonas out the boxes, let alone on the beds, I think.

In a real coup as part of the soft entry, as I call it, Mary-Lou Corcoran realised that the Australian Institute of Sport had a problem with their waterways in Sydney for rowing training. She made the call and said, 'Come to Murray Bridge and we will host you.' It is going to be pretty raw and the cobwebs will be ironed out really quickly, and then the official opening will happen a few weeks later. That shows what we are doing just in one item of training locally using TAFE facilities.

Another thing TAFE at Murray Bridge are doing really well is opening up the facility as a learning hub for people at all levels of training, right through to tertiary training, with quiet areas where people can go to do their remote study from the Murray Bridge TAFE campus. I have been to multiple openings there of various aspects of the hub, and it is great. If people cannot find quiet time and time to do their university work or training work, they can go there, find a quiet space and get online.

As we have seen with COVID, there has been so much more online work done in university education and other education where it is done remotely. I see it with my eldest lad, Mack, who is doing his third year in mechanical engineering. This year, he is just starting to go back to do a little bit more work at the University of Adelaide, but a lot of the lecture work is done remotely, as it can be.

I also want to pick up on what the minister mentioned before about training across the board in South Australia. Sometimes training does not directly suit different providers, and sometimes that is because of the bureaucratic impediments that are put in place. A classic one TAFE did struggle with was shearing training—I had some direct input from some shearing trainers locally—and that is being picked up by another provider. I just want to acknowledge in the broad training space the training providers right across the board who train our people into the future.

My own bit of training with TAFE many years ago in the early eighties (I think it was 1980 or 1982, so I am starting to show my age) was on-farm training. I think it was the second course in the state. As I said—I have already let it out that I do not have a ticket—I did not quite complete the course because I went away at the time to work at the gas fields in the Cooper Basin, but that was no fault of TAFE as the training provider.

I certainly support the amended motion and I support TAFE. May they go on to educate people well into the future and support training across the board, and may we always get fantastic outcomes for all those people who go along and seek better skills, as our trainees do through our electorate offices, to get their Certificate III in Business. I support the amended motion.

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