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Wednesday, 7 February 2001
Page: 24195

Mr Bevis asked the Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business, upon notice, on 14 August 2000:

To ask the Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business—Has he or his Department received a report on the feasibility in each State and Territory of a national insurance scheme to protect employee entitlements in cases of business insolvency; if so, (a) who compiled the report, (b) what was the cost, (c) to whom has the report been provided and (d) will the report be tabled or made public; if so, when; if not, why not.

Mr Reith (Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The Government has considered a report on the possible use of insurance for the protection of employee entitlements on employer insolvency, which considered options and issues including the feasibility of a compulsory insurance scheme.

(a) The report was prepared by an interdepartmental committee comprising the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Treasury and the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business. The committee consulted with the insurance industry for the purpose of preparing the report.

(b) This was undertaken as part of the normal business of the Departments concerned and costs have not been separately identified.

(c) The report was prepared for and provided to the Government.

(d) I announced on 27 April 2000 that the Government had accepted the findings of the interdepartmental committee, that an insurance scheme is not a viable option. I publicly announced the reasons at that time.