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Notice given 9 October 2006

Senator Marshall: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 2547-2548)—With reference to the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Structural Adjustment Program for textile, clothing and footwear workers:

(1) How will the Government ensure that retrenched textile, clothing and footwear workers leaving their industry are made aware of the program and their entitlements flowing from the program.

(2) Can statistics be provided on how many retrenched textile, clothing and footwear workers across Australia have successfully registered for the program at Job Networks in the first year of its operation.

(3) How many of these workers have been assisted into further training and ongoing employment through the current program.

(4) How will the Government ensure accountability of the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations in reporting on outcomes of the program funding.

(5) To date, what amount taken out of Job Seeker accounts has been spent on textile, clothing and footwear workers re-training.

(6) How will the Government ensure that all future retrenched textile, clothing and footwear workers will have easy access to courses and qualifications over the first 12 months following their retrenchment.

(7) Of the three parts of the program (support to retrenched workers through Job Networks, support to communities through the Regional Partnerships Program, and support to firms through a discretionary fund of the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources under the Restructuring Initiatives Grants Scheme): (a) how much of the $50 million in funding for the program is designated for each of the three elements; and (b) how much has been spent to date against each of the three elements.

(9) (a) How is funding for retrenched workers through Job Networks drawn upon by the Department for Employment and Workplace relations; and (b) is this done on a per head basis or by expenditure from Job Seeker accounts.

(10) What mechanisms ensure that textile workers who lose their jobs through restructuring of the textile, clothing and footwear industry will be entitled to, and have access to, the program.

(11) Does this eligibility cover textile workers working in companies in other industries.

2547 Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources

2548 Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations