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Monday, 2 April 2001
Page: 26133

Mr SPEAKER —I call the member for Dickson.

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Brisbane is denying the member for Dickson the call.

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Lalor! The member for Makin! I have recognised the member for Dickson and the discourtesy of her colleagues on both sides of the House has denied her the call.

Ms KERNOT (2:49 PM) —My question is to the Minister for Employment Services. Minister, are you aware that Dr Kemp's suppressed Youth Pathways report states:

Many young people find the Job Network difficult to access and too complex to negotiate. It is often poorly connected to local community processes and youth service networks. There is little recognition—

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Dickson will come to her question.

Ms KERNOT —The report continues:

There is little recognition that the preparation required for work by young people is very different to adults.

Minister, will you acknowledge this weakness of the Job Network and its failure to prepare many young Australians for work, because it does not offer guaranteed—

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Dickson—

Ms KERNOT —because it does not offer—

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Dickson!

Ms KERNOT —This is a question, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Dickson will not defy the chair. She will resume her seat.

Mr McMullan —Mr Speaker, I just seek clarification from you first: are you requiring the member for Dickson to resume her seat, suggesting that what has been proposed is not a question when she asks a minister whether he will acknowledge a weakness in his program? If not, what is accountability all about if that question is not acceptable?

Mr SPEAKER —I had not ruled the question out of order. I had asked the member for Dickson to come to her question. She then continued to quote from the report and the question was in order. The question then became lengthier than I thought was necessary, and that is why I asked her to resume her seat. The question stands.

Mr BROUGH (Minister for Employment Services) —The first thing to say is that there is no hidden report. That is just absolute poppycock, as you would expect from the shadow minister. She talks about the Job Network, but I am afraid that, even though she actually has a Job Network provider in her own building, she knows very little about the processes nor the parts of the Job Network which constitute the job search training, intensive assistance and of course job matching.

The facts are that the Job Network has provided 14 per cent better outcomes than the old Working Nation, at almost half the cost of Working Nation. The only thing that is on the public record is your comments when you were with the other party in the other place supporting failed programs under the Working Nation program. Job Network has been responsive to the market. It has over 2,000 different outlets where young people can actually access jobs. It also has IT, which allows for young people to be able to access any job in Australia from their own home, from libraries, from their schools or, in fact, from any Centrelink office.

Mr SPEAKER —The Member for the Northern Territory!

Mr BROUGH —It is time that you learnt something about the Job Network and started to assist the unemployed of this country.

Mr SPEAKER —Before I recognise the member for Boothby, I remind all members, but particularly ministers in responding to questions, that references to `you' and `your', while not, I imagine, intended to reflect on the chair, could have left people listening to that answer with the impression that the chair, in an effort to be independent, belonged to a number of political parties. I will interrupt ministers in future if they continue to make references to `you' and `your'.