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Notice given 22 August 2001

3844  Senator Collins: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment Services—With reference to the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business Report of Enquiry Arising from Senate Estimates Hearings on 4-5 June 2001 into Matters Concerning the Job Network , tabled in the Senate on 6 August 2001:

(1) (a) What are the other emerging practices which have raised concerns during the course of this inquiry (as mentioned in paragraph 38); (b) how prevalent are such practices; and (c) why did the report not address this issue.

(2) Further to paragraph 5, has IPA Personnel Pty Ltd or Drake Employment Services Pty Ltd been applying strategies which are ‘inappropriate under ESC2’ or which ‘appear to meet the letter but not the spirit of ESC2’ (Paragraph 12); if so, why were these not investigated and outlined as with Leonie Green and Associates.

(3) (a) When did concerns regarding Employment Plus, Whyalla, first come to the department’s attention; (b) what action was taken; (c) was Employment Plus applying strategies, other than those publicised in the Advertiser of 6 August 2001, regarding claims for people employed without assistance from Employment Plus, which are ‘inappropriate under ESC2’ or which ‘appear to meet the letter but not the spirit of ESC2’ (eg. when clients find their own jobs, incentives are offered to employers and job seekers for information so as to lodge dummy vacancies on the national database network and fill them, and inflated cost of training provided through a related labour hire firm); and (d) will the Employment Plus star rating need re-evaluation.

(4) Have any inappropriate strategies spread through regional South Australia.

(5) Do the policy revisions ruling out the use of the resulting job matching outcome fee to fund a few days work experience for an Intensive Assistance client relate to the IPA Personnel Pty Ltd strategy raised in estimates.

(6) (a) How many Job Network members have been identified regarding concerns with ‘job splitting’; and (b) how will ‘job splitting’ be defined.

(7) How many Job Network members have been claiming job matching outcome fees for filling vacancies in their own offices.

(8) What was the process for the development of the job matching policy revisions.

(9) Why is there no person from outside the department included in the new ‘independent’ Fraud and Compliance Committee.

(10) Was a person from outside the department considered at any time.

(11) How many complaints relating to Leonie Green and Associates’ placement strategies have been lodged with the department since the start of 2001.

(12) Did the Leonie Green and Associates job outcome spike in February cause any review of the situation by the department; if so, what actions were taken; if not, why not.

(13) When did the department first become aware of the letter of 10 May 2001, from the Leonie Green and Associates Lilydale office, that stated that job seekers would never be ‘offered an opportunity again where you are paid to look for employment’.

(14) What action does the department take when it believes that a Job Network member’s records that relate to a claimed job matching fee lack accuracy.

(15) How and why can a Job Network member bring forward its placement capacity (as claimed in the report where Leonie Green and Associates asked if it could bring forward 50 job matching places of their contracted capacity in the central and northern Queensland regions on 8 February 2001).

(16) Do all Job Network members have a contracted capacity and the ability to bring placements forward.

(17) Can the bringing forward of a Job Network member’s placement capacity affect a member’s star rating by bolstering their position around a milestone.

(18) (a) Did the department approve the advance placements requested by Leonie Green and Associates on 8 February 2001; and (b) have any other such requests been considered; if so, can details be provided.

(19) Has the department now determined what were the main reasons for the blockage to the flow of relevant information to senior management in the Job Network Group, despite continued input from external sources (as mentioned in paragraph 32 (ix)).

(20) Why does the report ignore the internal e-mail communication raised in estimates, in which a departmental officer seeks to rationalise as appropriate the Leonie Green and Associates letter dated 10 May 2001 forwarded by Centrelink (paragraph 35).

(21) What policy settings, code of conduct clauses and ESC2 conditions are to be reviewed as a result of this inquiry.

(22) Since the introduction of the Job Network’s star rating system, what changes have occurred in the criteria which forms the basis of the rating system.

3845  Senator Cook: To ask the Minister representing the Treasurer—

(1) How much has the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) received to date (by fiscal year) from its crackdown on research and development syndicates, and can these figures be broken down by type of syndicate (eg. industry sector).

(2) How much has the ATO budgeted to receive from its crackdown on research and development syndicates from the 2001-02 to 2004-05 financial years, and can these figures be broken down by type of syndicate (eg. industry sector).

3846  Senator Schacht: To ask the Minister representing the Attorney-General—With reference to the report of 4 September 1997 on religion in Australia, in which the United Nations Special Rapporteur, Mr Abdelfattah Amor said: ‘Although a citizen cannot apply for a remedy on the basis of the 1981 Declaration [on the Elimination of all Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief], such an application is possible in the context of HREOC. In this connection, HREOC representatives said that, because of their limited jurisdiction, only few of such remedies had been applied for under the 1981 Declaration (fewer than 10 since 1993)’:

(1) On what basis can an individual apply to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) for a remedy in respect of discrimination on the basis of religion.

(2) Why is the jurisdiction of HREOC limited with respect to the protection of individuals against discrimination on the basis of religion.

3847  Senator Harris: To ask the Minister representing the Attorney-General—With reference to the Family Court of Australia:

(1) What level of training and ongoing training is required to be completed by counsellors of the Family Court of Australia in relation to Parental Alienation Syndrome, an extremely severe, divisive and life-threatening form of mental and emotional abuse, affecting not only children but also adults.

(2) How many counsellors, and with what qualifications, have been specifically educated in Parental Alienation Syndrome.

(3) For counsellors who are not qualified psychologists or psychiatrists: can details be provided of the method and number of interviews required for the counsellors to be able to identify Parental Alienation Syndrome.

(4) How many studies have been completed by the Family Court of Australia since the publication of papers by Dr Richard Gardner (United States), Dr Kenneth Byrne (Melbourne), Dr Ira Turk (United States), Dr Douglas Darnell and Peggie Ward, PhD, amongst many professionals worldwide since 1985.

(5) How many cases of Parental Alienation Syndrome have been identified by counsellors since 1989, following the article published in the Australian Family Lawyer by Dr Kenneth Byrne.

(6) What training has been provided to Family Court of Australia justices and judicial registrars on Parental Alienation Syndrome.

(7) (a) How many cases of Parental Alienation Syndrome have been identified by the justices and judicial registrars; and (b) what are the directions and orders which have been made.

(8) In how many cases has the Family Court of Australia ordered its own experts to inquire into and produce a report before the court and to give evidence in person and be able to be cross-examined by all parties, under order 30A rule (3) of the Family Law Rules 1984.