Jul 10, 2003

Minister in denial as system close to collapse

MINSTER IN DENIAL AS SYSTEM CLOSE TO COLLAPSE

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 10 July 2003

Today’s report in the Financial Review confirms what Labor has been saying for more thank a month – the Government’s Job Network is tittering on the edge of collapse.

However, despite the growing body of evidence that many of the providers in the Job Network are struggling to remain financial viable just two weeks into their three year contract, Employment Services Minister Mal Brough continues to deny anything is wrong with the system and that instead all the problems are caused by the unemployed.

Well Minister if Job Network Mark 3 is not in crisis then:

  • Why has the head of his Department, Mr Bob Correll, written to all providers acknowledging that the business plan developed by the Department was wildly optimistic and promising to provide providers with at least $30 million to ensuring their ongoing viability? It must be noted that this additional money will not be spent on additional services for jobseekers but used simply to ensure providers do not close their doors.

 

  • Why is it case that up to 70% of jobseekers are failing to turn up to meetings with their Job Network providers – a rate that is far greater then anything recorded under the previous 2 Job Network contracts?

 

  • Why is the Government cancelling its must vaunted Work for the Dole program and channelling up to 75,000 jobseekers back into the Job Network?

 

  • Why is Centrelink staff being forced to work a substantial amount of overtime, including weekends re-entering data because the new Job Network IT system is proving to be completely unstable?

 

  • Why has he had to call numerous urgent crisis meetings of all the CEOs of Job Network providers?

Job Network Mark 3 is only 10 days old and already Job Network providers are contemplating closing their doors.

Instead of fixing the problem the Minister is in a complete state of denial. Without a doubt Minister Brough is this Government’s version of the Iraq Information Minister, Comical Ali.

It is time Minister Brough take another leaf out of Comical Ali’s book and resign and disappear.