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Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Page: 2474


Senator FIERRAVANTI-WELLS (New South Wales) (15:49): I move:

That the Senate—

   (a)   notes:

      (i)   on 20 May 2009, Mr Craig Thomson MP wrote to the then Minister for Employment Participation (Mr O'Connor) supporting Central Coast Group Training's (CCGT) proposal for the construction of a new Youth Skills and Employment Centre for the Central Coast, New South Wales,

      (ii)   an Australian Labor Party statement, dated 20 July 2010, by the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport (Mr Albanese) and Mr Thomson concerning funding for the centre,

      (iii)   on 5 April 2011, the Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth (Mr Garrett) wrote to Mr Thomson stating that the Government was providing $2.7 million in funding towards the centre under the Community Infrastructure Grants Program,

      (iv)   on 16 June 2011, Wyong Council wrote to the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, asking about confirmation or progress of the funding for the centre,

      (v)   on 8 July 2011, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) wrote to CCGT regarding the centre,

      (vi)   an extract from one of the documents provided under freedom of information (FOI) states that, on 20 July 2011 'Mr Craig Thomson wrote to Minister Garrett raising concerns about interaction between…and DEEWR',

      (vii)   on 25 August 2011, Senator Fierravanti-Wells submitted a FOI request to DEEWR requesting inter alia copies of all representations and advice between Mr Thomson and ministers, their offices and departments on applications for funding a jobs incubator (the Youth Skills and Employment Centre) at Wyong proposed by CCGT, including secondary references to such representations or advice,

      (viii)   that while documents were provided in response to that request, they were almost all in a redacted form with large portions of the documents exempted, and

      (ix)   that the documents were not disclosed inter alia because they contained "unsubstantiated allegations of misconduct or unlawful, negligent or improper conduct"; and

   (b)   orders that there be laid on the table by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, no later than 5 pm on Thursday, 22 March 2012, in an unredacted form:

      (i)   all documents pertaining to "unsubstantiated allegations" made by Mr Thomson to the Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth and the former Minister for Employment Participation regarding CCGT, and

      (ii)   copies of all representations and advice between Mr Thomson and ministers, their offices and departments on applications for funding a jobs incubator (the Youth Skills and Employment Centre) at Wyong as proposed by CCGT, including secondary references to such representations or advice, including but not limited to the following:

   (A)   letter from Mr Thomson to the then Minister for Employment Participation dated 20 May 2009 re. CCGT, and

   (B)   letter from Mr Thomson to the Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth dated 20 July 2011 re. CCGT and attachments thereto.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The question is that the motion be agreed to.