Job Creation

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 14:22 :40 ): My question is to the Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills. Can the minister explain how the $2.1 million in funding announced yesterday is going to deliver 815 jobs in regional areas as claimed? Will the minister clarify whether this figure refers to new jobs to be created or jobs that already exist?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Business Services and Consumers) ( 14:23 :04 ): I thank the honourable member for his most important question. I was pleased, was it this week or at the end of the last week—they blur a little bit—to announce the regional money for our grantees. We are involved in the seven regions, and the metro is a separate region. A number of months ago, I announced the employment program and training funds for the metro area and just recently announced those for the regions.

These are employment programs that relate to both training opportunities and also employment-type programs. They offer a great deal of opportunity for people who are unemployed and also for those who need upskilling to be able to find employment. Many of these programs are linked to businesses and direct employment outcomes, and they are the estimated figures that the Hon. David Ridgway just mentioned.

The Hon. D.W. Ridgway: Estimated! Plucked them out of the air? How does that work?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO: These are the commitments that businesses have given to the grantee. It is through RDAs, so RDAs are working with these businesses and these businesses have indicated the possible uptakes that they could take. Even for those programs that are not directly linked to an employment outcome, nevertheless there are programs like career counselling, assisting people with their CV and other activities. So, even if it is not directly related to a job, it certainly puts that person in a much stronger position to achieve employment at a later date.

The work, as I said, is very closely linked to the local RDAs, and the RDAs are obviously very closely linked with and communicating with local regional businesses, so these programs very much reflect the different regions' needs and also opportunities. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to work with RDAs to offer these very important programs in our regions.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 14:26 :10 ): Supplementary question: in the minister's press release yesterday she indicated there was $160,000 of funding going to the Barossa.

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: Point of order: I understand a supplementary question is supposed to be based on the original answer given by the minister and not new extraneous material.

The PRESIDENT: That is true. Is your supplementary based on—

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: I will choose a different supplementary then, Mr President. Which particular businesses in the regions have identified that they will employ people? You mentioned $160,000 in your press release—

The Hon. G.E. Gago: I didn't mention that at all.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: The press release I referred to.

The Hon. G.E. Gago: I didn't mention it. I made no reference to the media release.

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Mr Ridgway, just ask—

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: Which businesses—

The PRESIDENT: Order!

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: —is my supplementary question, Mr President.

The PRESIDENT: Just sit down for one second.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: No. I am standing up to ask a supplementary question.

The PRESIDENT: I have asked you to sit down and let me explain. I am very tolerant with your—well, not very tolerant. You ask a lot of supplementary questions—not a problem—but they must relate to the answer given by the minister. Now, if you have got a question there that relates directly to the answer, by all means ask your supplementary question.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: Thank you, Mr President. Which businesses have been identified to the minister as being able to employ people as a result of this $2.1 million funding and the 815 positions that I mentioned in my question?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Business Services and Consumers) ( 14:27 :35 ): The RDAs are still working through those. As I said, these are programs that are coordinated and managed by RDAs, so they are businesses that RDAs have identified. I believe that some of them have been identified by RDAs and others are still being contracted, so those details are not yet available.

The PRESIDENT: Supplementary, Mr Ridgway.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 14:28 :00 ): So the 815 people mentioned or places mentioned are just an estimate rather than an actual factual figure?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Business Services and Consumers) ( 14:28 :12 ): I have already put that information on record.

 

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