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Jacinta Collins - The Hambungler http://www.alp.org.au//media/0601/jcmsea050601.html Wednesday, 06 June 2001

The Hambungler Jacinta Collins - Spokesperson on Industrial Relations in the Senate

Media Statement - 5 May 2001

Today the Employment Advocate displayed his complete inability to perform his statutory duties.

Appearing before a Senate Estimates Committee, Mr Jonathan Hamberger revealed the identity of an employer party to an AWA who had been the subject of confidential Industrial Commission hearings. His casual comment breached the provisions of the Workplace Relations Act that protect the anonymity of AWA parties.

Senator Collins said "The Workplace Relations Act provides for penalties of up to six months imprisonment where there is unauthorised disclosure of the parties to an AWA. The Employment Advocate, who is responsible for administering that part of the Act, is now in a position where he has breached the provisions of the Act he is supposed to uphold.

"This makes a complete mockery of the Employment Advocate's trenchant campaign to prevent the release of the first 100 AWAs. He refused to provide the documents to Senate Estimates for almost a year - allegedly to protect the anonymity of the parties.

"Today, however, he volunteered the identity of an employer party to an AWA - it was information not even solicited by the Committee.

"This Employment Advocate has demonstrated his bias and partisanship in numerous inquiries by the Senate - now his competence is in question," Senator Collins said. Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

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