The Guardian March 29, 2000


A 100 days and still going

Teachers, students, community members attended a picnic day and rally 
outside Seaforth TAFE College on Saturday, March 25. They marked the 100th 
day of a continuing picket line in protest against the closure of Seaforth 
TAFE College.

"The community intends to keep the picket going until Seaforth TAFE is 
reopened", said Ms Jennifer Leete, NSW Teachers' Federation Deputy 
President.

"You can expect further action from the community after Parliament reopens 
on April 4, 2000."

A Labor Council led delegation met with the Minister for Education, John 
Aquilina, on March 3 to try and convince him once again to reopen Seaforth 
TAFE.

"While well resourced science laboratories and computer rooms remain unused 
at Seaforth TAFE, students are being asked to walk 2kms from Brookvale TAFE 
to Freshwater High School to use classrooms, laboratories and equipment 
there", said Ms Leete.

While for many a 2km walk would seem like a much needed exercise for young 
people, the reality is that Seaforth TAFE used to cater for a number of 
disabled students.

There is no special access provision for them at Brookvale TAFE where 
Seaforth TAFE students had been relocated. They had been fully catered for 
at Seaforth TAFE.

Disabled students are not the only ones disadvantaged by the closure of 
Seaforth TAFE.

"While there are waiting lists of students for information technology 
courses at Brookvale TAFE there are three fully resourced computer rooms 
standing vacant at Seaforth TAFE", explained Ms Leete.

The Teachers' Federation has requested that the NSW Labor Council seek a 
further meeting with the Minister of Education and the Premier in order 
that this matter can be resolved. So far the Minister's response had been 
inadequate.

"The Minister should comply with the recommendations of the parliamentary 
Committee and reopen Seaforth TAFE", concluded Ms Leete.

Meanwhile, the picket continues.

People are most welcome to join the picket at Seaforth on the corner of 
Sydney and Frenchs Forest Road.

If you would like to put your name on a roster, contact Lolita Barratt on 
0418 233 416.

For more information visit the website:

http://www.save-seaforth.org

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