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Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Page: 6432


Ms GAMBARO (Brisbane) (17:39): Can the minister explain what the Prime Minister's jobs board is, how it will function, when the concept was first raised and by whom, and when the Prime Minister first indicated to him that a jobs board should form part of the EMA policy infrastructure?

What is the process for prospective workers to place themselves on the jobs board and will parties to the EMA be required, as part of the EMA, to take workers from the jobs board prior to seeking overseas workers? How will prospective workers be vetted prior to their details being put on the jobs board? Is there an independent panel or an organisation that can ensure that the details and the background of prospective workers are accurate and up to date?

Minister, there was a report in the West Australian newspaper on 29 May 2012 which refers to a current investigation by DIAC into the claims that hundreds of Chinese workers on the $5.4 billion Sino iron ore project in the Pilbara are being paid half the wages that Australian workers are getting. They are being paid $70,000 to $80,000 instead of being paid $150,000. When were these claims first brought to DIAC's attention, what is the current status of the investigation and, Minister, which government agency is going to have oversight to ensure that overseas workers are paid in Australia or, if they are paid through offshore agencies, that they are actually receiving the correct workplace entitlements under Australian law? How are you going to ensure that they are paid the correct amount, both onshore and offshore?