Fine arts cuts and broken promises

I AM writing to you about your story "Visual Arts on the Line" regarding the $1.7 billion cuts that the O'Farrell government has just made to education in NSW. A chunk of those cuts, $3 million, will come directly out of North Coast Institute of TAFE.

Three million dollars has been cut from Fine Arts at TAFE in North Coast Institute including at the Lismore TAFE campus. The O'Farrell government has removed government funding for Fine Arts courses in NSW effectively privatising it and removing it from the reach of most people on the North Coast.

The Fine Arts school at TAFE in Lismore is one of the finest in Australia. This will mean the loss of employment for teachers and opportunity for students. Before the election, Minister Piccoli, who is a National, signed a pledge to invest in TAFE. Now that promise has been broken.

The O'Farrell government are saying they have to make these cuts because there is no money. However, they have $20 million to rename roads and $5 million to refurbish the offices of their treasury boffins, let alone the $264 million for poker machine tax cuts. It is becoming clear where this government's priorities lie, and it is not with the people of the North Coast of NSW.

I urge you to contact your local MP, Thomas George at lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au today and ask him when he will stand up for his electorate and reverse these damaging cuts.

Katherine Nicholson


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