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Senate to investigate Employment Services contract process

The Senate today moved to establish an inquiry into the Government's handling of awarding employment services contracts.

"The Greens and Coalition Senators today referred this issue to a Senate Inquiry to review the decision making processes, and the outcomes of the tender process. The key questions are whether Australia's employment services will be better or worse as a result of this process and most importantly will those Australians without a job be supported as they need to be," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Greens support building workers commemorating International Day of Mourning

"Today, around Australia, workers are commemorating the International Day of Mourning and remembering colleagues, friends and family who have died from work-place incidents."

"It is also a time to reflect on how as a society we can work together to prevent such deaths," said Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on workplace relations.

"The Greens fully support all the building workers around the country who today have stopped work to remember their colleagues and friends who have died at work."

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CDEP cancellation is bad policy

The Australian Greens today renewed calls for the Federal Government to reconsider the cancellation of Community Development Employment Programs (CDEP) in the wake of the global financial crisis.

"There is growing concern in the community at the cancellation of the CDEP scheme on 1 July and the transfer of people in that scheme onto Newstart. This is the wrong decision for the Minister to be making, when the Australian job market is rapidly contracting as a result of the global financial crisis," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Greens support Employment Services rally

The Australian Greens today expressed their strong support for today's rally against the Federal Government's Job Network decision organised by Australian Services Union.

"The Government's approach has thrown the provision of these services into turmoil just when the need for these services is about to steeply increase," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"The Government appears to have paid no attention to the recommendations of the Productivity Commission arising from the previous Government's mishandling of changes to the sector."

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Job Network decisions show neither rhyme nor reason

The previous government privatised the Commonwealth Employment Service to create the Job Network - by outsourcing its services to a mixture of community based non-for-profit organisations, Australian based for-profit companies and one or two international for-profit companies. In 2002 a Productivity Commission into the manner in which Job Network services were being outsourced concluded that this was not an efficient way to run a tender process.

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ABCC should be abolished now

The Government has run out of excuses to repeal the special building construction industry legislation and abolish the ABCC with the release of the Wilcox Report, say the Australian Greens.

"The Greens welcome the finding by Murray Wilcox that the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act should be abolished and the Fair Work Act regulate industrial relations in the building and construction industry." said Senator Rachel Siewert.

"The Government must now act with urgency to repeal this undemocratic law."

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Greens call for audit of Employment Services contracts

The Australian Greens are today calling on the Commonwealth Government to direct the Australian National Audit Office to conduct an independent audit on the awarding of employment services contracts announced yesterday.

"There seems no rational basis for the decisions made on who got contracts. We have seen 4 and 5 star rated providers lose contracts," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

"Thousands of committed and dedicated workers are about to lose their jobs at a time when their skills are most needed."

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Bleak future for job services sector

The awarding of Government employment service contracts to large, profit-driven overseas organisations will deprive local, non-profit organisations of revenue they put back into social services, say the Australian Greens.

"With the very real possibility of recession hanging over their head, the Government seem more interested in privatising our social services sector, pushing profits overseas and jeopardizing successful community organisations," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

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