29 January 2014

Welcome to 2014! It promises to be another challenging year for Queensland TAFE and we look forward to working with our TAFE members to meet these challenges.

Senate TAFE Inquiry

The Australian Senate Education and Employment Reference Committee has announced an inquiry into TAFE. This follows the 2013 House of Representatives Inquiry into TAFE which concluded without making a final report. Submissions are due by 7 March, and a final report will be made by 13 May.

It is extremely important for all TAFE teachers to make a submission (even if it is only a few paragraphs) highlighting the important role of public TAFE and the ways in which recent policies and funding cuts are hurting students and the wider community.

Specific information that would be useful to the Inquiry could include:

  • Information on funding cuts to TAFE at the Institute level;
  • The impact of the cuts on individual TAFE institutes, programs, industry areas and regions;
  • Specific examples of the impact on disadvantaged students, women, and Indigenous individuals and communities;
  • Stories from TAFE teachers, students, local industry etc;
  • Detail of the mechanics of the reform process – i.e. how funding is being allocated.

The Stop TAFE Cuts website has useful information including how to make a submission and fact sheets. There are also posters to download so that you can publicise the inquiry amongst your work colleagues, students and local community.

Note: if you made a submission to the 2013 House of Representatives Inquiry (which was discontinued following the election), that submission will be considered by the Senate Inquiry.    

Select Committee on Northern Australia –

Attention Members in Central and Northern Queensland

The Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia was established by the Australian Parliament in late 2013. The Committee to consider policies for developing the parts of Australia which lie north of the Tropic of Capricorn, spanning Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland,

The Committee invites interested persons and organisations to make submissions addressing one or more of its terms of reference by Monday, 17 February 2014. The following term of reference has specific relevance to TAFE: to ‘identify the critical economic and social infrastructure needed to support the long term growth of the region, and ways to support planning and investment in that infrastructure’.

This is an opportunity to highlight the key role that TAFE institutes play in northern Queensland and the risks that current VET policies pose.

Click here for further information, including how to make a submission . 


As reported last year, the hearing date for the DETE appeal against the IRC decision to refer the TAFE EB negotiations to arbitration was postponed to 24 February. It is important to note that the hearing will only consider legal arguments about whether the decision to refer the matter to arbitration was valid. It will not consider the merits of either the DETE or QTU enterprise bargaining positions.

In the meantime, with the exception of some matters altered by government legislation, policy or directive, the provisions of the current Certified Agreement continue to apply. QTU members should continue to assert their professional and industrial rights. Members can contact the QTU for further information, advice and support.

 Authorised by Graham Moloney, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union