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Kemp's humiliating backdown on vet rorts not good enough.

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Media Release

Senator Kim Carr

Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate

Labor’s Parliamentary Secretary for Education


24 May 1999





“Dr Kemp’s humiliating backdown on providing financial ince ntives for existing employees go nowhere near solving the problems which are now endemic in his New Apprenticeships scheme and within the nations 84 TAFE institutes,” Senator Carr said.


“Dr Kemp’s backdown, designed to tighten eligibility requirements in the governments $300 million trainee subsidy scheme, follows widespread criticism of his unilateral decision last year to broaden the availability of financial incentives to existing employees.


“Unfortunately Dr Kemp’s half baked measures do little to address the central problems of widespread abuse of the system, declining quality and diminishing opportunities for young people to undertake structured training.


“Only last week Dr Kemp waved aside criticism of his TAFE and New Apprenticeships policy raised by me in the Senate ‘as a campaign distortion (and) untruths’.


“On Meet the Press last Sunday, despite substantial documentary evidence of rorting and fraud, Dr Kemp further alleged that the none of the cases I had highlighted had stood up.


“Now, less than a week later, we have seen a backdown from a Minister who pays more attention to his own propaganda than he does to managing the scandalous state of his portfolio.


“With 24,000 existing workers being added to the scheme in the first 5 months of this year, Dr Kemp’s announcement has come far too late.


“Despite Dr Kemp’s bold public assurances that all is fine, the whole industry is a buzz with talk of rorting of trainee payments, particularly for entirely on the job training where little or no evidence is required to substantiate that training is actually occurring.


“It is now time for Dr Kemp to come clean on the extent or rorting, fraud and mismanagement of the governments vocational education policy.


“These issues will continue to be pursued in the June 1999 round of Senate Estimates,” Senator Carr said.



Senator Kim Carr  0419 563 922 or

Steve Herbert  0417 059 581


md 1999-05-25  10:38