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Thursday, 14 August 2003
Page: 18584

Mr ALBANESE (2:20 PM) —My question is to the Minister for Employment Services. Is the minister aware that during job search training sessions conducted by Interact Employment Services in Brisbane job seekers are required to complete a first impressions exercise in which four caricatures of potential employees are presented: person A, a white man in a suit and tie; person B, a white man in a coat and open necked shirt; person C, a man of considerably darker complexion in a T-shirt and thongs; and person D, a man of similarly dark complexion, looking angry, with straggly long hair, a beard, in a baggy old T-shirt and sandals. Is the minister also aware that the job seekers are asked a series of questions seeking their opinion of who gives the best first impression? Minister, what action will you take to prevent the Job Network engaging in practices that promote outrageously discriminatory stereotypes?

Mr BROUGH (Minister for Employment Services) —Mr Speaker, there are those who would suggest that I have an olive complexion, and I am not sure that it has much to say about what sort of a person I portray—or your good self. I find it interesting that we have an extra member of the gallery today—one of your staff. Is it because you are so desperate to make some sort of an impact, or have they joined the gallery today? I am not aware of what you are saying, but I say to you that it is very important that anyone seeking a job has a clear understanding of the importance and the significance of first impressions. Clearly, your first impressions on the member for Werriwa have not been very favourable, because he has made it clear to everybody who will listen that you are a negative, carping individual with not an original idea, and that has been proved again today.

Mr Latham —Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. We have been pretty good mates lately, and that really is an outrageous slur by the minister against your good self, for which he must withdraw.

The SPEAKER —I thank the member for Werriwa for his defence. This is not the first instance in which members have inadvertently used the term `you' but, on the advice of the member for Werriwa, I will monitor it more closely in future.