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Notice given 14 February 2002

104  Senator Hutchins: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations—

(1) Is the Minister aware that more than five hundred former staff of Traveland lost their jobs as a result of the collapse of Ansett and Internova Travel.

(2) Is the Minister aware that none of the former employees of Traveland have received their workers’ entitlements.

(3) Will the Government Employee Entitlements Scheme (GEERS) provide payment of workers’ entitlements to former employees of the Ansett subsidiary Traveland.

(4) Can details be provided of the processing of applications received from workers applying for their entitlements under GEERS.

(5) Has GEERS begun processing the applications of former Traveland workers.

(6) Were the former Traveland employees misled when they were informed that the processing of their payments would begin on 7 January 2002.

(7) How much time was taken by GEERS to process the applications of former National Textiles workers.

(8) When will former Traveland employees receive their workers’ entitlements.

105  Senator Hutchins: To ask the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts—

(1) Was a decision made by Telstra, on 4 April 2001, to retrench 25 customer field workforce employees in the Sydney metropolitan area.

(2) Is the Minister aware that there are some 8 000 Telstra customers within the Sydney metropolitan area waiting for their phone services to be repaired.

(3) Was the decision made for commercial reasons.

(4) Is the Minister aware that an additional 260 staff were brought in from interstate and regional New South Wales.

(5) (a) Is the Minister aware that 170 telephone installations are being carried out by contractors every day; and (b) would permanent staff be more economically efficient in terms of cost for installing telephones.

(6) Will the decision to retrench 25 customer field workforce employees impact upon the level of service provided to Telstra customers.

(7) Is the Government able to use its majority shareholding in Telstra to reverse the decision.

(8) How is the decision to retrench the workers in the interest of the provision of an effective telecommunications service to the people of Sydney.