Government promises $7million for Byron TAFE
BYRON Shire may well end up with its own TAFE campus as part of the re-imagining of the old Byron Hospital site if the Coalition Government is returned at the next state election.
The site is just one under consideration with the state government investing $7million dollar with more than 30 courses on offer.
Minister responsible for TAFE Adam Marshall and NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet joined Nationals candidate for Ballina, Ben Franklin on site along with Chair of the Old Byron Hospital Steering Committe and Byron Shire Council GM Mark Arnold for the announcement.
"This commitment will be an absolute game changer for Byron Bay,” Mr Franklin said.
"While there are TAFE campuses in Lismore and Ballina, Byron Bay has never had a fully fledged TAFE campus of its own, meaning locals have had to travel to complete their studies.”
Chair of the Old Byron Hospital Steering Committee, Chris Hanley, welcomed the announcement saying it may form the basis of creating an education hub in Byron Bay.
In December last year the State Government sold the old hospital site back to Byron Shire Council for one dollar. It is planned the site will have four uses- Health, Education, Community and Culture.
"I have been trying for the last 22 years to get education institutions such as TAFE and Southern Cross University here and this is my fourth attempt,” Mr Hanley said.
He confirmed that the committee has been in discussion with both TAFE and Southern Cross University regarding having a presence at the site.
"If this all comes together here and we end up with an education hub, then all I can say on behalf of the community is thank you.
"Having TAFE here in town will not only add to our employment but it will also allow us to run courses here tailored to integrate with our local economy.
Mr Marshall confirmed the old hospital site is one locations the government will look at for a TAFE campus that would, "revolutionise training opportunities in Byron Bay.
"My top priority will now be working with the local community and Byron Shire Council to ensure we select the best possible location for this new campus,” he said.