The Australian | 29 October 2012
Victoria’s Baillieu government is set to take more control over TAFE boards proposing legislation to appoint all TAFE board members, not just a majority as currently. TAFE chief executives will also be excluded from being on the board.
The then opposition argued against similar changes proposed by the Brumby government in 2010 and joined with the Greens to block them. Now skills minister Peter Hall argued then that Labor’s attempt to appoint all TAFE board members was an “unnecessary grab for power.” He now says:
It takes very specific skills to oversee a large public educational institution and selecting people with the right skills and experience to excel in the job is vital.
It’s not apparent why the government would have the insights to appoint the “right” people nor that the “wrong’ people currently populate TAFE boards.
It also appears at odds with the fully competitive ethos the government has introduced into the TAFE sector which would logically see TAFEs taking greater responsibility for their governance, including board appointments..
Victorian TAFE Association (VTA) executive director David Williamson has confirmed that the government has written to TAFEs to say it is “by-passing” the association on this and presumably other matters because it sees the VTA as “politicised”, followingits strong opposition to TAFE funding cuts.