Qld Labor pledges $100m in TAFE funding

Labor has pledged $100 million in funding to upgrade TAFE campuses and training programs across the state.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk spent the third day of the campaign in Townsville, where Labor is trying to sandbag three of its most marginal seats in the state ahead of the October 31 state election.

She says $100 million will upgrade TAFE campuses and improve training programs in cyber security, robotics, hydrogen and resources, manufacturing, agriculture, nursing.

“It is absolutely crucial, as we progress through our economic recovery that we look at the skills that are needed for the jobs in the region and matching those skills with those potential jobs is exactly what my government has done,” she said.

About $14.2 million in funding will go towards upgrading the TAFE in the Townsville suburb of Bohle to train hydrogen fuel industry workers.

Sun Metals announced in July it would build the state’s first hydrogen plant in Townsville.

“I’m absolutely determined that we get those skills here in Townsville to make sure that people are ready for the next economic boom of hydrogen,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“It’s not just me saying this, the federal government is saying this, and Professor Alan Finkel has been saying this as well. 

“Hydrogen is a huge opportunity for us to capitalise on a growth industry that will be worth billions of dollars.”

Labor is prioritising campaigning in the port and garrison city, where it holds the marginal seats of Townsville, Mundingburra and Thuringowa.

In the former two seats Labor faces a four-way battle with the Liberal National Party, Katter’s Australian Party and One Nation. Both the LNP and KAP are also contesting Thuringowa.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has struck a preference sharing deal with the KAP.

The KAP currently holds three seats and One Nation has single seat in Queensland parliament.

The Palaszczuk government could fall if it loses just two seats, which is why Townsville is so vital.

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