Dale McNamara’s plans for a Polytechnic training institute at Aberdeen

Filed in Just In by May 18, 2021

ONE Nation candidate Dale McNamara has announced that he will build a new advanced polytechnic training institute at Aberdeen if he wins this weekend’s by-election.

One Nation believes it is a tragedy of the National Party’s neglect of the Upper Hunter which can be seen in the absence of major State Government projects in the electorate. No part of New South Wales produces more private sector wealth, yet has no presence of public sector investment.

One Nation believes, the Upper Hunter should have the most advanced training centre for mining, manufacturing and agriculture in the State, integrated fully with these three industry sectors, what the Germans call a Polytechnic.

Mark Latham, NSW One Nation Leader, said he and Mr McNamara were at Muswellbrook TAFE today to announce what they say is an excellent opportunity for skills development and mining manufacturing and agriculture in the Upper Hunter.

“With the closing of the Scone TAFE there needs to be a replacement, one of the mysteries of the New South Wales Government is that they will boast of big infrastructure spending and advanced training facilities, but why are they not doing it here?” Mr Latham said.

“Why isn’t the replacement of Scone TAFE an advanced Polytechnic training centre, for the young people, for retraining, for people with a disability coming through the system wanting to get a job in these very competitive industries,” he said.

“We will be building that facility in Aberdeen, as a major boost for skill development in the Upper Hunter. These facilities are built elsewhere but not here.

“This electorate produces a large part of private wealth, but it has a paucity of infrastructure coming back particularly in training,” he said.

“We think this advanced training centre is overdue, polytechnic working with the big companies to give the very highest level of skills to the young people,” said Mr Latham.

This would involved industry developing the training modules they need for their workforce and the Training Institute producing the apprentices and trainees to develop advanced skills and then find work.

Technological research and development would also be an important part of this process.

The NSW Coalition Government is currently building one of these facilities but in Western Sydney, last year the government announced $80 million for 700 training places perannum associated with construction industries at the second Sydney International Airport.

If Dale McNamara wins the by-election on Saturday he will use his balance of power in the NSW Legislative Assembly to force the government into correcting its neglect of training and industry development in the Upper Hunter.

Mr McNamara said this will be great for Aberdeen as they have lost a lot of industries over the years.

“The main parties haven’t supported them, this is clear neglect to the Upper Hunter. We have missed out on money being spent in the electorate for many years,” Mr McNamara said.

“It just seems funny to me that One Nation was the first party to claim that the royalty money needs to come back to the Upper Hunter, and now everyone else is somehow finding plenty of money,” he said.

“We have great towns in the Upper Hunter and we are being left behind, our training facilities are up to 1960’s standard and we need to get up there with the rest of them,” he said.

“This training centre will be a great thing for the Upper Hunter, we need all of the trades and qualifications for our future,” said Mr McNamara.

Mr McNamara will insist on a new training institute at Aberdeen to look after the needs of young people and older retrained workers wanting to go into mining, manufacturing and agriculture.

One Nation believes this should have happened decades ago, but the National Party has taken the Upper Hunter for granted.

One Nation is committed to this dynamic new approach to upgrading workforce skills, creating jobs and growing the regional economy.

“Every machining shop in the Upper Hunter is lacking machinists, that can program the state-of-the-art machines. I personally know people that are pulling guys out of retirement that know how to program these machines,” Mr McNamara said.

“It’s about getting our TAFE’s up to date so our people can have the ability to manufacture everything that is required these days,” he said.

“Hospitality is another thing, everyone in the hospitality business in the Upper Hunter can tell you that to get a chef or someone trained in the area is nearly impossible,” he said.

“There are people today who want to leave school when they are in year ten and if you go back and check, all the people who are motor mechanics or similar trades started at that time. We need more of this to secure the future of the Upper Hunter,” said Mr McNamara.

Younger people need to have a facility where they can learn to drive a tractor, round hay bailer and all the equipment that is used on agricultural farming.

Mr McNamara believes that everyone is getting older because there is no training for upcoming farmers and younger people.

“On my farm, my farmhand is 73 years of age because there is a shortage of people out there. These young people could potentially get hurt if they step into an industry where there is no training” Mr McNamara said.

“We need to concentrate on agricultural farming training so our farmers can stay on the land longer because they will be able to employ skilled people to use the equipment and be safe using it,” he said.

Mr Latham said, the difference with the polytechnic training is that it is industry-led and the industry leaders on the board will set the skills sets, the programs and the modules that are needed.

“The facilities we have seen here today at the Muswellbrook TAFE, you can see people are trying hard but we need to go to the next level,” Mr Latham said.

“The government said it is so proud of what they are doing at Western Sydney, we want them to say that they are proud of state of the art in the Upper Hunter,” he said.

For more information on where candidates stand: Voting 101: Upper Hunter by-election. 

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