Queensland Premier Campbell Newman says the opposition is acting like 16th century prophet Nostradamus over TAFE fees.
Queensland’s premier has accused the opposition of playing Nostradamus over TAFE fee increases.
Literacy and numeracy fees for disability pensioners have risen from $140 to $800 while tuition fees for a diploma in marketing have increased from $2400 to $6000, Labor says.
It predicts that fees will go up even more as previously subsidised courses incur full fees and a new Queensland Training Assets Management Authority makes TAFE campuses pay full commercial rent.
But the Liberal National government insists there is no link between course costs and infrastructure arrangements.
Premier Campbell Newman said hefty TAFE fee increases would be unlikely when asked about Labor’s predictions.
“It’s interesting to see they’re playing Nostradamus,” he told reporters on the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.
“I don’t believe that’s the case.
“TAFE is being re-focused so it meets the needs of employers so we create jobs.”
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said the government had a secret agenda, after Labor uncovered leaked TAFE documents which say “costs could increase again for the start” of the first semester in 2015.
They are answers to student questions and comments such as, “Are costs likely to increase next year?” and “I feel ripped off”.
“We’ve now heard of secret plans where TAFE fees are going to be skyrocketing in this state,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters.
Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek insists fees aren’t actually rising, with a spokeswoman explaining in a background statement to AAP that subsidies were being reduced to some courses that didn’t align with skills shortage areas.