MP tells Baird to focus on real issues, not go-karts

NSW Premier Mike Baird at the C1 Speed indoor karting track. CHRISTOPHER CHAN

NSW Premier Mike Baird at the C1 Speed indoor karting track. CHRISTOPHER CHAN

The NSW Premier needs to ‘‘get out of his go-kart and focus on the Illawarra’s real issues’’, Shellharbour MP Anna Watson said on Wednesday.

Her comments followed Mike Baird’s first visit to the region as Premier, where he inspected road projects and opened a go-kart centre.

Ms Watson, along with her federal colleagues Stephen Jones and Sharon Bird, used Mr Baird’s visit to highlight what she said was the ‘‘slow gutting of Dapto TAFE’’ following $800million in government cuts to the sector since 2012.

She called for an end to course and service cuts, saying many teachers and students were worried their facility would close.

‘‘We’ve seen Dapto campus go from being a thriving campus...to becoming a ghost town,’’ Ms Watson said.

‘‘The Premier needs to get his priorities right: this is saying to the people of the Illawarra that he would rather ride around in a go-kart than address real issues.’’ Asked about Labor’s TAFE demands, Mr Baird said his government was providing an ‘‘efficient TAFE with great courses and opportunities’’.

‘‘I think taxpayers expect two things: the capacity for courses to be connected into where the jobs are and connected into industry, and at the same time for fees to be competitive,’’ he said.

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