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Thursday, 14 August 2003
Page: 18586


Mr ALBANESE (2:31 PM) —My question is to the Minister for Employment Services, and I refer to my previous question regarding job seekers being asked to participate in a `First Impressions Exercise' where they were presented with four caricatures appearing to be of different racial backgrounds. Is it acceptable that the questions job seekers are asked include identifying which one of these young men they would be more likely to:

buy a used car from?

... ... ...

not like to see married to your sister if you are a male; if you are a female, would you not consider going out with?

... ... ...

would be likely to use illegal drugs?

would have respect for authority?

And the humdinger is:

would be intelligent?

Minister, will you take this issue seriously and take immediate action to stop the Howard government providing funds for this disgraceful, discriminatory exercise? I table the document.


The SPEAKER —The member for Grayndler is unable to table the document—

Honourable members interjecting


The SPEAKER —Order! Under the standing orders all I am seeking to do is what I am obliged to do and that is to discover whether or not leave has been granted for the tabling of the document. Has leave been granted?



The SPEAKER —Order! The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations will resume his seat. I am seeking from the minister an indication of whether leave has been granted.

Leave granted.


Mr BROUGH (Minister for Employment Services) —Obviously, this is my first look at this document. It says `First Impressions Exercise'. My first impression is that I do not see what you see, at all. If you are trying to make some sort of slur upon this sort of material, you are at the depths of despair as an opposition.


Mr Latham —Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The minister has continued to address you in derogatory terms. You warned him earlier on. He is also talking about this document—


The SPEAKER —The member for Werriwa has made his point of order and will resume his seat. As the member for Werriwa would be aware, I was in conversation with the Clerk about the tabling of the previous document to discover whether what happened was in fact what normally happens, and he assured me that it was. For that reason I had not heard the latter comment. If the minister wishes to rephrase the latter part of his answer, I will allow him to do so. I did not hear what he said.


Mr BROUGH —It is just that the opposition are concerned that I was reflecting upon the chair. I certainly had no intention of doing that. I was reflecting my comments to the opposition.