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Senate estimates - opening statements



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SENATOR THE HON. ERIC ABETZ LEADER OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE SENATE MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT MINISTER ASSISTING THE PRIME MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE

LIBERAL SENATOR FOR TASMANIA

CANBERRA: Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600. Phone: 02 6277 7320 Fax: 02 6273 4115 HOBART: 136 Davey Street, Hobart TAS 7001. Phone: 03 6224 3707 Fax: 03 6224 3709 minister@employment.gov.au http://abetz.com.au

21 November 2013

SENATE ESTIMATES - OPENING STATEMENT

Firstly welcome to the new Departmental Secretary and the Deputy Secretaries in differing roles, albeit they have appeared before this Committee before.

Can I also put on the public record my thanks to the former CEO of Safe Work Australia Mr Rex Hoy who recently retired after 46 years in the Australian Public Service. Ms Michelle Baxter is the acting as CEO of Safe Work Australia.

Can I also thank Deputy President Val Gostencnik, the former Director of Fair Work Building and Construction, for his service and also recognise Mr Randell Fuller, the former chief of the FWBC Advisory Board, who has also resigned.

I am pleased to advise that Mr Nigel Hadgkiss has been appointed as Director of FWBC and Hon. John Lloyd PSM has been appointed as Chair of the Advisory Board.

Since last estimates, I also draw to Senators’ attention to the appointments of Ms Natalie James as Fair Work Ombudsman and Mr Peter Tighe as CEO of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency. And those two appointments were made by my predecessor.

I am pleased to report to the Committee that all Questions on Notice have been answered since the Government came to office other than one batch which were those questions asked by myself. And believe it or not I’m not going to be answering my own questions.

As a result I understand that the Department does have a clean slate in relation to Questions on Notice. If I’m incorrect as to that, if the Secretariat can let us know, because it will be our intention to answer Questions on Notice in a very timely fashion.

ENDS

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