THEN: The Tewantin-Noosa TAFE campus in better days.
THEN: The Tewantin-Noosa TAFE campus in better days. Contributed

TAFE travesty: How has this been allowed to happen?

THE future seemed bright when, sometime in 2005, I donned a yellow hard hat and made my first visit to the Tewantin Noosa TAFE. Together with then Noosa MLA Cate Molly and a couple of government officials we were shown around a very impressive building.

Aesthetically and in terms of incorporating the latest sustainable building elements, this seemed the perfect addition to Noosa Shire educational infrastructure.

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Set among towering white scribbly Gum trees, the spacious rooms appeared custom-built for the arts focused courses. The water tanks, energy saving technology, parking facilities, together with the design created a striking construction.

During the course of its life, I attended a number of student graduation shows and wrote various articles on student's work. The premises appeared busy and the students fulfilled. However, I was well aware that student numbers were dropping and some voices in the community believed the art courses should be replaced with courses more aligned with Noosa's Hospitality industry.


NOW: The TAFE Queensland East Coast Tewantin Campus is closed.
NOW: The TAFE Queensland East Coast Tewantin Campus is closed. Warren Lynam

While the debate continued about curriculum focus, I don't think anyone called for the closure of this building. However, that what's happened.

This week as I toured the grounds with a photographer, I experienced an eerie feeling. The discarded paper mache figures, I had seen lying on the grounds a year ago, were still there. The expensive desk and chairs were still sitting quietly, unused, in their private working pods. The signs explaining the area's natural habitat stood upright. Thick lines of rust dribbling down the water tanks shone bright orange under the sun.

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This week, the American people, repudiated mainstream politics with their vote for an outsider. Australia did the same with Pauline Hanson. Some people are wondering what prompted this change. I'm not; I just look at the disgusting waste of this fine building and understand that people are sick of the style of government that has allowed this to happen.

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