Council in the dark over BBay TAFE

The Beagle Editor, Everyone was excited to hear the recent $8m Batemans Bay TAFE but that was it. Just an announcement with no details at all. The photo shoot was at Hanging Rock and the media release implied without saying that the investment would be an extension of the current TAFE Annex there. To find out the full detail I wrote to the Council General Manager, Catherine Dale, who told me it was her understanding that the current NSW Government has allocated $8M for a connected learning centre in Batemans Bay to boost the number of TAFE courses currently on offer.

Ms Dale, the Eurobodalla General Manager (above) also gave me her answers to other questions I raised. With regard to your questions, I provide the following responses: 1. Where is the new TAFE going to be sited at Hanging Rock? It is important to note that an appropriate site is yet to be determined by the NSW Government for the location of the expanded TAFE facility. 2. What involvement did any council staff or councillor have in identifying Hanging Rock area as the best location to locate a TAFE education complex? It is understood that no site has been confirmed and no prior discussions have been held with Council. It should be noted that there is a TAFE facility currently located at Hanging Rock with the University of Wollongong and the Batemans Bay library. The Batemans Bay Library and Education campus is a successful partnership with Council, TAFE NSW and University of Wollongong and provide a number of tertiary education opportunities. 3. When is work proposed to begin on the project? This is not a council project and therefore we are unable to provide timeframes for such works. 4. What present public assets would need to be removed or relocated to accommodate the new TAFE at Hanging Rock? Council will work with the NSW government to ensure that a suitable location is found to guarantee additional further education opportunities for our community. So there we have it in a nutshell. The GM has confirmed that before the announcement "no site has been confirmed and no prior discussions have been held with Council" and that Council has no idea when work will commence. Allan Brown Catalina

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