Adjournment Matter: Prahran Arts and Education Precinct
Mr HIBBINS (Prahran): My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Training and Skills. The action I seek is for the government’s support in the development and the realisation of a Prahran arts and education precinct at the Prahran TAFE campus. The Prahran TAFE campus is an asset with incredible potential located in the heart of Prahran, but the full potential of the site is yet to be realised. It will need government funding and support for this to occur. The campus is zoned for educational purposes and is currently used by Melbourne Polytechnic for their Prahran campus, who lease it off Swinburne University. You will remember the significant community campaign, the Preserve Prahran campaign, when Swinburne University moved their Prahran activities to Glenferrie. So there is significant community interest in the site.
The site also hosts a range of tenants, the National Institute of Circus Arts, NICA; Patrick School of the Arts; the Hester Hornbrook Academy; the High Performance Centre for gymnastics; and of course the fantastic new Prahran High School located next door—all places that I have visited in my time as an MP. The site itself has got the David Williamson Theatre, along with numerous facilities to support the creative industries.
For the existing tenants, the adjacent tenants or even new ones, with the existing facilities, the potential for the site are immense. A Prahran arts and education precinct, with a thriving tertiary campus at its heart, would secure the long-term future of the Prahran campus, provide career opportunities and educational opportunities for so many young people, particularly in the creative industries, and play a major role in revitalising our local area, in particular the Chapel Street precinct, bringing students and businesses alike as well as cementing our community’s proud reputation as a vibrant, buzzing arts and creative industries destination.
Since 2014, Melbourne Polytechnic has delivered high-quality vocational education and training from Prahran campus, focussing on Auslan and the creative arts. I also acknowledge the valuable creative arts training provided by Melbourne Polytechnic and other organisations at the campus, including NICA, Gymnastics Victoria, and Patrick School of the Arts. These organisations are deeply embedded within the creative arts sector in Melbourne, offering students specialist educational and employment pathways.
Swinburne University of Technology is currently in discussions with the Department of Education and Training about Prahran campus, which is owned by Swinburne and leased to various organisations. The Department and relevant Victorian Government agencies are working through various options with Swinburne, mindful of stakeholder and community expectations regarding future use.
The Hon Gayle Tierney MP
Minister for Training and Skill and Minister for Higher Education