ONE word summed up the feeling of a mob of protestors in Ballarat calling for Premier Ted Baillieu to step down yesterday - anger.
Anger from students in that they will no longer be able to receive any TAFE training, anger from teachers because they could find themselves out of jobs, and anger from a broad spectrum of society who expressed their disappointed in the government’s TAFE cuts.
About 200 protestors gave Mr Baillieu a hostile reception when he was in Ballarat yesterday, speaking as part of a Rural Press Club lunch at Alexandria on Lydiard.
Amid whistles and loud jeers from the protestors, Mr Baillieu was escorted into a car park out the front of the building by police, before being whisked away into the building.
The crowd chanted “Save TAFE, sack Ted”, furious over education cuts that will see the number of TAFE students cut back by 2200 in Ballarat, with up to 100 job losses also possible.
Prior to the protest yesterday, Mr Baillieu defended the cutbacks by claiming the current system was impossible to fund and that people had to accept change.
University of Ballarat nursing teacher Julie-Anne Noble said the cuts would not only affect Ballarat students, but those all across Western Victoria.
Hospitality, business and performing arts businesses are expected to be hit the hardest.
Ms Noble said the university was still working with current students to try and ensure they could finish courses they had started, but could not guarantee their future.
“The university is still trying to do what is best by their students. But their hands are tied because of what the state government has done,” she said.
The National Tertiary Education Union is expecting the cuts to take place by early next year with many underway at the moment, in addition to fee hikes and course closures.
In some instances the cost of courses will double as early as next year.