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Notice given 29 July 2003

1676  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts—

(1) Is the data speed of 19.2 kbps the reasonable minimum speed for dial up connections that is guaranteed under the Internet Assistance Program; if not, what is the minimum speed for dial up connections that is guaranteed under the program; if so: (a) is Telstra required under the program to provide this dial up Internet service, equivalent to 19.2 kbps, over its fixed line network to users regardless of their location in Australia; and (b) is Telstra in breach of its obligations under the program if it only guarantees a telephone service which can achieve a minimum data speed of 2.4 kbps.

(2) What action will the Minister take to enforce Telstra’s compliance with the program.

Senator Collins: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 1677-1678)—With reference to checks etc made by the department on vacancies listed on the Australian JobSearch website (and the media release of the Minister for Employment Services, dated 15 July 2003), and more generally, on the activities of employment agencies and employers offering employment:

(1) How many random checks has the department made on positions listed on the Australian JobSearch website in each of the following financial years: (a) 2000-01; (b) 2001-02; and (c) 2002-03.

(2) How may complaints has the department received about positions listed on the website in each of the following financial years: (a) 2000-01; (b) 2001-02; and (c) 2002-03.

(3) How may complaints has the department investigated about positions listed on the website in each of the following financial years: (a) 2000-01; (b) 2001-02; and (c) 2002-03.

(4) Can details be provided of the nature of the complaints; for example, the employer failing to confer lawful conditions, agencies exaggerating emoluments, requirements to pay for training before employment can commence, job offers as prostitutes etc.

(5) Can details be provided of the nature of the inappropriate practices uncovered by random checks; for example, the employer failing to confer lawful conditions, agencies exaggerating emoluments, requirements to pay for training before employment can commence, job offers as prostitutes etc.

(6) In relation to the matters referred to in (1) to (5) above, has the department come across any activity that may constitute a breach of section 338 of the Workplace Relations Act 1996; if so: (a) can details of the breaches be provided; and (b) did the department inform the relevant prosecutorial authority or authorities of the breaches and if not, why not.

(7) In relation to the matters referred to in (1) to (5) above, has the department come across any activity that may constitute a breach of section 75AZE of the Trade Practices Act 1974; if so: (a) can details of the breaches be provided; and (b) did the department inform the relevant investigative and/or prosecutorial authority or authorities of the breaches and if not, why not.

(8) How many complaints has the department received in respect of employment agencies and employers offering employment about alleged unlawful or inappropriate activities in each of the following financial years: (a) 2000-01; (b) 2001-02; and (c) 2002-03.

(9) How many investigations into alleged unlawful or inappropriate activities has the department carried out in respect of employment agencies and employers offering employment in each of the following financial years: (a) 2000-01; (b) 2001-02; and (c) 2002-03.

(10) Can details be provided of the nature of the complaints and investigations; for example, the employer failing to confer lawful conditions, agencies exaggerating emoluments, requirements to pay for training before employment can commence, job offers as prostitutes etc.

(12) In relation to the matters referred to in (8) to (10) above: (a) has the department come across any activity that may constitute a breach of section 338 of the Workplace Relations Act 1996; if so: (i) can details of the breaches be provided, and (ii) did the department inform the relevant prosecutorial authority or authorities of the breaches and if not, why not; and (b) does the department actively police breaches of section 338 of the Workplace Relations Act 1996.

(13) In relation to the matters referred to in (8) to (10) above: (a) has the department come across any activity that may constitute a breach of section 75AZE of the Trade Practices Act 1974; if so: (a) can details of the breaches be provided; and (b) did the department inform the relevant investigative and/or prosecutorial authority or authorities of the breaches and if not, why not; and (b) does the department actively police breaches of section 75AZE of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

1677 Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

1678 Minister representing the Minister for Employment Services