Page 1879 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 May 2013

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I congratulate all at the War Memorial, including the many volunteers, on the superb work they do to promote our proud history. For more information about the memorial or to conduct research, visit

Canberra Institute of Technology

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (4.32): I rise tonight to congratulate Canberra’s Institute of Technology on picking up a new training program for the ACT—that is, the electric vehicle training program for Nissan Australia specialising on the Nissan Leaf. The program used to take place in Victorian TAFEs, and Nissan have now brought their technicians all the way to Canberra for their full training. CIT sent their instructors over to the USA to complete some special modules earlier this year and they have come back now to teach other technicians.

All Nissan mechanics hoping to work on electric vehicles now come to the ACT and are trained in new modules and upgrades over a two-week period. The training does not end there though. Using all Nissan materials, they get a taste of how amazing these electric vehicles are. The skills can be transferred to other electric vehicles, therefore, training in the future will expand into other areas.

I think this shows that industry has great faith in Canberra’s education system, especially our Institute of Technology. I have been able to have a look at the modules being delivered at CIT at the Fyshwick campus. I watched some of the technicians from interstate actually working on a Nissan Leaf and its battery pack. It is a very safe environment; all of the OH&S practices have been put in place, and they are using new technologies and new equipment to work on these vehicles.

In conclusion, this is another great sign that CIT are a nationally recognised training organisation with industry trusting their groundbreaking work. I understand it is their intention to try and move into international training on electric vehicles. The ACT should feel very proud that we are leading the way on electric vehicles through training at CIT.

I would like to make some acknowledgements: Colin Prest, the head of automotive at CIT; Mick Doyle, who was instrumental in obtaining the service for Nissan Australia; Richard Saberton, who took over my former job with the Motor Trades Association, Nissan Australia, of course; and CIT.

Unfortunately there is one sad story to this. Whilst the ACT has done very well in obtaining the training provision, there has been a direct cut to TAFE colleges right throughout Victoria in the last year and a bit. It appears now, according to the Australian, that the Victorian government has sacked 10 chairpeople from the TAFE boards and severely cut funding for those TAFEs. So while we benefit here and we provide an excellent service, it is a sad reflection on how Liberal governments are dealing with technical and further education colleges in other states.

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