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Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Page: 6483


Mr CIOBO (7:24 PM) —My question to the minister is with respect to the $10 million small business support line. I ask the minister: what is the government’s proposal with respect to the small business support line on who exactly will be answering the telephone when someone rings in on that telephone line? Will it be a call centre operated by the private sector, will the call simply go through to a bureaucrat in a department in Canberra or will it be operated by local BECs, which I know the minister is supportive of? Whether it goes to a departmental bureaucrat or to someone else answering the telephone, if it is merely a referral service to someone who can give the person meaningful advice—and I suspect most businesspeople would not get much meaningful advice, depending on who is answering the telephone—to which services will they be referred? Will they be public services or will they be BECs, and how will there in fact be any KPIs or benchmarks on whether or not taxpayers are getting value on this $10 million program?