Jul 18, 2003

State of confusion still regins in job network

STATE OF CONFUSION STILL REGINS IN JOB NETWORK

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 18 July 2003

In another humiliating back down Employment Services Minister Mal Brough has been forced to consider implementing new measures to ensure inappropriate job vacancies are not advertised on the Government’s JobSearch website.

This is Brough’s second back-flip in as many weeks.

Last week, and after repeated denials that Job Network providers were facing serious cash flow problems, Minister Brough was forced to inject at least $30 million into the ailing system just to ensure that providers were able to keep their doors open.

This week it was revealed that an escort agency and a company wanting to launder money were able to advertise for workers on the Government run JobSearch website. In the wake of these embarrassing incidents Minister Brough again denied any problems ruling out any changes to the JobSearch website saying additional safeguards would be too “bureaucratic”.

Today we learn that Brough has been overruled by his senior minister, Tony Abbott, and forced to consider implementing improved vetting procedures.

Minister Brough pattern of behaviour is now clear for all to see. Firstly, he denies that there are any problems with his Job Network even when the facts are drawn to his attention by either the Labor Party or the general public. These denials are usually accompanied by a gutless attack on the unemployed. Then when the public pressure becomes too great or his senior minister overrules him, Minister Brough performs one of his trademark back-flips hoping no one notices.

Instead of fixing the problems Minister Brough is in a complete state of denial.

The revelations of the past two weeks also follows the Minister’s denial that he was slashing the number of Job Network sites by more than half. The Minister defended the cuts by saying that job placement organisations were also Job Network providers – yet this week when one of these job placement organisations posted a vacancy for a sex worker he stated that they were not a Job Network provider.

Just three weeks into Job Network Mark 3 the system is in a state of deep confusion and at the end of the day the unemployed are the ones who suffer despite the valent efforts of Job Network providers and Centrelink officers.