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Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Page: 6484

Dr EMERSON (Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors and the Service Economy, Minister Assisting the Finance Minister on Deregulation and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs) (7:29 PM) —We do not have estimates of how many people will be utilised overall, but there is existing capacity to handle these sorts of—

Mr Ciobo —So no new additional?

Dr EMERSON —No, I think there will be new additional people, but we are not starting from scratch. There are already trained people. What we will do is make sure that they are well equipped to refer inquiries to the particular agencies of the Commonwealth—indeed, to state government agencies. But—and this is why not all of the funding will go specifically to that—that is not a substitute for answering a local question in a local community, and that is where we are working on whether, perhaps, we should utilise a broader advisory network to be able to provide that local advice. It certainly will not be the sort of situation where the person who receives the call just gives your phone number to someone and then they go from place to place looking for advice. We are going to do our best to make that very simple advice, and that is why it is called a support line.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Debate (on motion by Ms Saffin) adjourned.