A House of Representatives inquiry into the role and operation of TAFE campuses has been deflated by the announcement of the federal election.

The inquiry had been hailed by education unions, now a spokesperson from TAFE says the next government needs to pick up the probe as soon as possible to “seize the momentum and continue its work... [it] established the importance of TAFE to the Australian community, and this is evidenced both by the volume and diversity of submissions,” said TAFE secretary Pat Forward.

The inquiry was prompted by growing concerns that policy and funding changes, particularly on state levels, could have jeopardised the vital training and educational services.

L H Martin Institute researcher Dr Leesa Wheelahan said: “We need a national public review that can establish the role of VET and of TAFE as the public provider... there is now a lot of useful stuff on the public record, but it is hard to see how it can be synthesised and used in public discussion. This is the job of the committee, and most people don’t have the time or skills to do that.”

The 172 submissions made before the inquiry lapsed are still available for viewing.