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Monday, 8 March 1999
Page: 2427

Senator O'Brien asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 1 December 1998:

(1) (a) How many employees of stevedoring companies have taken redundancy packages since 8 April 1998; or plan to take a redundancy package and (b) where were the employees located.

(2) How many of the above companies received assistance, or have applied for assistance, to meet the cost of redundancy packages through the Maritime Industry Finance Company Limited (MIFCo).

(3) What is the value of assistance provided by, or sought from MIFCo, to each of the above companies.

(4) Have any of the employees who have taken redundancy packages been re-employed by a contractor engaged by their former employer, or re-employed by their former employer; if so: (a) how many employees have been re-engaged; (b) when were they paid out; (c) when were they re-engaged; (d) which company did they work for; and (e) what is the name of their new employer.

Senator Ian Macdonald (Regional Services, Territories and Local Government) —The Minister for Transport and Regional Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

1 (a) The Maritime Industry Finance Company Limited (MIFCo) is responsible for making redun dancy related payments, when it is authorised by the Commonwealth to do so, and for deciding the amount of the redundancy related payment which should be offered and made to a redundant employee.

I have been advised by MIFCo, that as at 14 December 1998,766 people formerly employed through the five companies associated with Patrick Stevedores have received a redundancy related payment since 8 April 1998. I am also advised that a further 60 former employees of these companies plan to take a redundancy package.

1 (b) MIFCo has advised me that it does not collect details concerning the locations of the employees made redundant.

(2) As stated in 1(a) five companies have received assistance. As at 31 December 1998 a further twelve companies had applied to the Commonwealth for assistance.

(3) MIFCo has advised me that at 14 December 1998, it has provided $102,150,237.50 assistance for redundancies to the Patrick labour hire companies under Administration and Patrick Stevedores Holdings Pty Ltd.

As at 31 December the submissions from the twelve companies that have applied for funding assistance for redundancies had not been considered by the Commonwealth and therefore, MIFCo has not been advised of the funding requirements.

(4) Companies receiving funding assistance from MIFCo are required to reimburse MIFCo the full amount of any redundancy related payment paid to a redundant employees, if the redundant employee is employed or otherwise retained by that Company (or any related body corporate) in any capacity

within 12 months of the redundant employee receiving a redundancy related payment.

I have been advised by MIFCo that it has not received any information concerning redundant employees who may have been re-employed by a contractor engaged by their former employer. I am also advised that to the best of MIFCo's knowledge none of the employees that have been made redundant have been re-employed in any capacity by their former employer.