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Howard Government bails out failed Job Network system.

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Media Release Jenny MacklinMP


Deputy Leader of the Opposition

Shadow Minister for Employment, Education, Training & Science Federal Member for Jagajaga

The Howard Government has been forced to promise Job Network providers at least $30 million dollars to prop up its failed Job Network system within the first week of its implementation.

That’s millions of dollars that should be going to help job seekers find work instead of covering up Government mismanagement. There is no guarantee that any of the bail-out money will be spent helping job-seekers find work.

After killing off Employment National and then slashing the number of Job Network outlets, Job Network providers are going broke because the new system introduced on 1 July is a disaster.

There has been a massive shortfall in the number of job seekers being referred to the Job Network providers due to the ongoing problems with the IT system. Up to 70 per cent of job seekers are failing to turn up to meetings with their Job Network providers - a rate that is far greater than anything recorded under the previous two Job Network contracts.

This fiasco means unemployed people are further disadvantaged by a defective program, Job Network providers face financial ruin, and the Government has to find millions to sort out Minister Brough’s mess.

According to a report in today’s Australian Financial Review, an 8 July letter to the Job Network agencies from the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations states that a “package of measures” to address the shortfall in job seeker numbers has been developed and “payments will be made during July.”

As well as the financial bail-out, the Howard Government is pulling up to 75,000 people out of its work for the dole program and forcing them back into the Job Network simply to undertake more interviews and generate revenue for Job Network providers

That means that the Howard Government is junking its so-called commitment to mutual obligation.

The Howard Government’s priority is to cover-up Job Network program failures instead of helping the unemployed get jobs.

And in an astounding act of spinelessness, Employment Services Minister Mal Brough is trying to blame the unemployed for his own gross mismanagement and neglect.

Mr Brough must front up and say how much extra funding this colossal stuff-up will cost.

More information: Joanna Brent 02 6277 4045; 0408 473 278 10 July 2003