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Wednesday, 27 June 2001
Page: 28708

Ms KERNOT (3:27 PM) —My question is again to the Minister for Employment Services. Minister, will you confirm that your department already has a copy of an interim report into its investigation of the placing of people into phantom jobs under the Job Network? Does this report also investigate IPA, another Job Network provider, that appears to have been placing people into phantom jobs, whereby their unemployed clients are asked to hand out this flyer for only a few hours before being sacked? Minister, will you table this report today and not leave it until after parliament has risen in the hope of avoiding parliamentary scrutiny?

Mr BROUGH (Minister for Employment Services) —I can confirm, as I said to you on Monday, that I have asked the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business to expedite the investigation into the Leonie Green and Associates allegations that were made at Senate estimates, and they are doing that. As I indicated to the House on Monday, it is my intention to be able to bring that information to the House as soon as possible, and I would like to be able to think we could have that done tomorrow. I cannot give you that commitment, because it is done at arm's length by the department. But we are making every effort to ensure that I can make a report to this House on those allegations.

I am aware of IPA, and once again your false and malicious comments about false jobs and phoney jobs should be pursued. IPA did in fact employ people to distribute material.

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Lyons, as an occupier of the chair, might care to refer to the standing orders, and then take a point of order if he wishes.

Mr BROUGH —The IPA company has been operating a temporary staff labour hire company since 1984. In 1992, IPA commenced working with unemployed job seekers under the government contracts of the day and has done so continually since that time. In relation to this particular issue, it employed some 26 people, I think, to distribute material where it was offering short-term employees to local employers.

Ms Kernot —Twenty hours free work.

Mr BROUGH —Now am I to suggest that the shadow minister has a problem with wage subsidies, which has been a policy of the Labor Party for many years.

Mr SPEAKER —The minister has the call.

Mr BROUGH —So now are you suggesting to the Labor Party that this is a failed policy. I come back to IPA and the question at hand. The personnel that were employed by IPA as promotional walkers have instructions and guidelines, which I have here—

Ms Kernot —So did Leonie Green.

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Dickson is warned!

Mr BROUGH —It is a pre-screening form which each member had to fill out. Every member of IPA has been assured as to their continuing to work in a proper job, not a phoney job. I would suggest that, if you wish to make those allegations, don't use the privilege of the House but do so outside of this place and see what occurs.

Ms Kernot —Mr Speaker, I seek leave to table the IPA flyer which offers 20 hours free work, from these promotional walkers, as the minister called them.

Leave not granted.

Mr Howard —Mr Speaker, I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.