Clear evidence was presented to a Senate Inquiry yesterday that problems emerged in the VET FEE-HELP system in 2014, and that the Liberals knew about it.
“…particularly during 2014, we started to receive a spike in complaints related to the marketing of VET products”
[Consumer Action Law Centre CEO]
“We started to see complaints, Senator, in mid-2014… they started to sort of come out as a bit of a trend, as I say, in that mid-to-late 2014 period”
[Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Official]
“Both of those agencies [ASQA and ACCC] started to get concerned through the volume and nature of specific complaints towards the end of 2014, and they talked to us at that time and then they re-iterated, or continued expressing those concerns into 2015”
[Department of Education and Training Official]
It is now beyond doubt that the Liberals were clearly warned:
Senator McKenzie: Did you advise the then Government?
Australian Skills Quality Authority Official: In 2014. In the second half of 2014, yes we did.
“Since the Government was told about problems in the VET FEE-HELP system Christopher Pyne, Susan Ley, Luke Hartsuyker, Scott Ryan, Simon Birmingham and Karen Andrews have all had responsibility for the portfolio,” Kate Ellis, Shadow Minister for TAFE and Vocational Education, said.
“No wonder proper action wasn’t taken – no-one had their feet under the desk long enough to read the briefs.
“The Parliament is now considering rushed reforms, years too late. All because the Liberals simply don’t value TAFE and Vocational Education.”