Building Commences On New TAFE at Salamander Bay

Catherine Cusack turning the first sod at the TAFE Connected Learning Centre at Salamander Bay. Photo by Marian Sampson.

 

TOMAREE Peninsula’s new connected Learning TAFE is one step closer to opening with the first sod turned this week.

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The Honourable Catherine Cusack, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter performed the sod turning and spoke about how the facility had come about through the efforts of the Chamber of Commerce, firstly under then President Ryan Palmer and subsequently through the leadership of current President Leah Anderson.

The original plan was for the TAFE facility to be housed in the township of Nelson Bay, however subsequent investigations and planning has seen the facility being located at Salamander Bay adjacent to the existing education precinct.

Catherine Cusack MLC told News Of The Area, “This is such a win for the community.

“Jaimie Abbott worked quite directly with the Premier to get priority for this particular election commitment knowing it was the number one priority on everyone’s list.

“I can’t thank you all enough for the work, commitment and the positive spirit, when the new facility was announced it wasn’t what anybody was expecting, it was a new concept.

“This new facility will be able to work with the community and cater to the training needs,” she said.

It is anticipated that the facility will address training in areas such as aged care, tourism and trades including hairdressing.

The builders have noted that the site ground conditions are good and that the build will be completed around March 2021.

Community consultations will be undertaken in relation to meeting local training needs.

“We are living in a once in a lifetime pandemic but we are also living in a once in a lifetime infrastructure spend as well,” said Ms Cusack.

The infrastructure and IT systems being deployed at the site will provide a state of the art training facility.

Interactive software and technology will be accessible similar to that at other TAFE Connected Learning Centres.

It is anticipated that the community will be able to experience the centre prior to courses being held.

The centre will cater to our youth but it will also offer older people the opportunity to retrain or upskill through a TAFE course.

Mayor Ryan Palmer said, “I think this is a world class facility and that this is the future of learning.”

The facility and the TAFE offering on the peninsula will be based around student centred learning.

Leah Anderson, President of the Tomaree Business Chamber said, “We are absolutely thrilled to have the TAFE here on the peninsula which will meet the needs of students and businesses.”

 

By Marian SAMPSON

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