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Monday, 25 June 2001
Page: 28440

Mr BEAZLEY (Leader of the Opposition) (2:08 PM) —My question is to the Minister for Employment Services. Minister, when were you first made aware of the use by Job Network providers of their own labour hire companies to receive a payment from the government for placing people into phantom jobs? Can you guarantee this House that you were not personally aware of this practice prior to Senate estimates on 4 June?

Mr BROUGH (Minister for Employment Services) —For starters, the government has no truck with anyone that puts anybody into a phoney job, a ghosting job or any other term that you wish to use. The government is providing employment services to Australia's unemployed to get the best person into the job that they can. As far as using labour hire companies is concerned, the government has no problem with companies using labour hire companies whereby the employment is for real jobs. As you are aware, and as I made the House aware last week, there is an inquiry under way currently in relation to these matters and I intend to make a statement as soon as the interim report is available.

As far as my own knowledge of these matters is concerned, the department became aware that there were some irregularities in regard to an organisation and commenced inquiries prior to Senate estimates. My own knowledge of this matter became clear at Senate estimates.