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Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Page: 6011

Mr SIDEBOTTOM (Braddon) (20:09): I assure the member for Menzies and the minister that la grande rhetorique is not part of my purpose here, but I would say, Minister, that you and the government are due congratulations. I congratulate the minister and the government on their initiatives to help people who need assistance, particularly the long-term unemployed, unemployed youth, homeless youth and young single parents who unfortunately lack skills, training and employment.

I want to highlight the Place-Based Initiatives which were announced in the budget. The municipality of Burnie in my electorate, which the minister is very familiar with through her past work and current work, is one of the 10 areas that have been chosen under this initiative and it will have access to a whole array of extra resources on top of those provided by Job Services Australia, Centrelink and other agencies. In April I was fortunate enough to launch the Local Connections to Work program in my electorate through the Burnie Centrelink. It is an excellent initiative. It is really common sense in that it brings together all the agencies that are working with individuals and organisations so that they can share information and provide their services in the one place—a one-stop shop in a sense—to their clients, who opt to be able to do this. That stops all the duplication and the record keeping that goes with it. I congratulate the government on that initiative. I must also congratulate Burnie Centrelink, which has really been working very hard to make this work along with the department, Medicare, Housing Tasmania, job service providers, the University of Tasmania, schools and others. I was really hoping that the minister would be able to tell us a bit more about the program and why it is an important part of our government's broader workforce participation package that was announced in the budget. I do congratulate the minister and the agency and all those that are making these services much more readily available in such a common-sense way.