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Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Page: 6243


Ms GAMBARO (Brisbane) (12:21): I welcome the opportunity to ask the minister a few questions. Hopefully, he can answer them for me or take them on notice. Minister, can you confirm that all children transferred to Malaysia will be sent to school for the entire duration of their stay? What is the annual average resettlement cost for each of the additional 4,000 refugees to be accepted under the Malaysian agreement to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship? And what is the annual estimated additional cost in Centrelink payments and other costs to resettle an additional 4,000 refugees?

I would like to ask some settlement questions. The contract with Navitas was entered into in the year 2005. When was the new Navitas contract awarded? What processes were in place to check the services being provided by Navitas to the new entrants? What postevaluation follow-ups occurred prior to the new Navitas contracts being awarded to provide settlement services? What was the total value of the contract with Navitas? What services were they contracted to provide? What were the agreed milestones in the settlement services funding agreement—did they achieve these prior to the new contracts being awarded? And what reports did Navitas provide the department during the life of their previous contract? The DIAC guidelines stipulate a three-, six- and a 12-month reporting period for such contracts. Are you able to provide these reports from Navitas?

The Navitas contract in the Hunter region: what was the actual dollar value of the contract to cover areas such as housing, health, schooling and employment? How many employees of Navitas have been investigated by the police for fraud after the allegations of money scamming from Congolese people were reported earlier this year? Has the department received complaints from members of the community in relation to the settlement services provided in the Newcastle-Hunter area? How many complaints did the department receive? Will you make public the results of both the departmental review and the other review that you have undertaken, and will those reports be made available to the parliament?

Just another question on settlement services, particularly with regard to Western Australia. Earlier this year, there were reports of local parishioners being asked to provide rental properties for humanitarian settlement in the community. Can you give us an update on how many community placements have occurred in Western Australia, how that particular program is going? Also, how you expect to accommodate the community humanitarian program, considering there are considerable housing shortages?

There was another report, relating to settlement outcomes of new arrivals, also released on the eve of the royal wedding. That report found that only 40 per cent of humanitarian entrants had a job after five years. Why does the department think that this is so, and what strategies are being considered to improve this number? What employment prospects and employment pathways does the department provide?