The fish rots from the head

The State Liberals are demanding Education Minister Susan Close tender her resignation as a consequence of the TAFE accreditation scandal engulfing the Weatherill Government.

“Minister Close has abjectly failed the students of TAFE and has no option but to tender her resignation,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

“If Minister Close won't do the right thing and resign Jay Weatherill must sack her.

“There are three people directly responsible for the shocking failure of TAFE – Chief Executive Robin Murt who has resigned, Chair of the TAFE Board Peter Vaughan who the Minister is demanding be sacked and Minister Close who bears ultimate responsibility.

“Minister Close claims she feels responsible for the abject failure of TAFE; she is responsible and needs to go today.

“The Weatherill Government has had a litany of failures where the Minister was allowed to cling to their job – the child protection scandal, chemotherapy scandal, the state-wide blackout, the Oakden scandal. Not a single Minister accepted responsibility for those profound failures of Government.”

Shadow Minister for Education John Gardner has written to the Australian Skills Quality Authority requesting it conduct a further audit of TAFE SA courses, particularly those with high levels of enrolment and those with high levels of workforce need.

“Given that all 16 of the TAFE courses audited were found to be defective and 14 were suspended the need for a further audit by ASQA is pressing,” said Mr Gardner.

“There is the very real possibility that the problems identified in the 16 audited courses are endemic across the TAFE system and literally tens of thousands of students may have been dudded by the Weatherill Government.

“As her last act as Minister, Susan Close must also release the findings of the Taskforce she appointed on September 28 to assess TAFE's self-auditing process.

“It is nothing short of disgraceful that some 800 TAFE students have been left in limbo because TAFE has been allowed to offer courses that failed to provide students full accreditation.

“Minister Close has been happy to throw the TAFE CEO and the TAFE Board Chair under the bus, but as the Minister she has had many opportunities to take action both since and before ASQA’s audit was revealed in September.

“The fact that she has failed so spectacularly is her responsibility.”