PROTESTERS rallied against the closure of Swinburne University's Lilydale TAFE campus yesterday and the Yarra Ranges Council called for a reversal of the decision that has shocked the community.
Cr Jeanette McRae, who is a former Swinburne student, moved an urgent motion at a council meeting last week to write to the university to reconsider its decision.
It was also moved the council write to local state and federal ministers about the state government's cuts to TAFE funding.
Mayor Graham Warren said he would be meeting Swinburne vice-chancellor Professor Linda Kristjanson this week to continue to lobby for the campus to remain open. "I want the public to know the council is very focused on doing everything it can to keep this university open and we won't be distracted from that," he said.
Earlier this month Swinburne announced plans to close its Lilydale campus, which has 2500 enrolled students, in July next year.
Cr McRae described the fact students would have to relocate to other campuses such as Wantirna or Hawthorn as "incredibly shortsighted".
"They need to think of the disadvantage they are bringing to students within this area."
Cr Len Cox said it was "the worst decision" he had ever seen in his time as a councillor. "The state government have decided they are going to save money on education, which is a unique idea as most governments want to spend money on education, as education improves people's lives."
Cr Richard Higgins spoke of the job losses for the university and TAFE staff and the economic loss to the town.