Victoria Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations Richard Dalla-Riva
Labor’s Dishonesty On JobWatch
Victor P Taffa
Unlike Labor and despite reports to the contrary, the Victorian Coalition Government has allocated funding for JobWatch. Labor’s ill-informed and alarmist attacks on this issue are hypocritical, Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations Richard Dalla-Riva said today.
The previous Labor Government in 2009 commissioned a report by Professor Susan Campbell into the funding arrangements for JobWatch.
This review that found JobWatch would be better served if it sought funding alternatives through the Department of Justice and the Community Legal Services Program (CLSP).
“I have urged JobWatch to take up this recommendation, as did the previous Labor Minister for Industrial Relations Martin Pakula last October.” Mr. Dalla-Riva said.
“Labor did not guarantee funding for JobWatch and in fact Labor not did allocate future funding for JobWatch beyond March this year.”
In a letter dated 4 October 2010, Mr Pakula wrote to the organisation in the following terms:
“I wish to encourage JobWatch to continue discussions to further explore possible CLSP arrangements … These two additional payments (of $220,000 per quarter) are contingent upon your agreement to ongoing consideration by JobWatch and Workforce Victoria of the recommendations set out in Professor Campbell’s review of JobWatch operations in December 2009.”
“The former Labor Minister made that funding contingent on JobWatch agreeing to consider Professor Campbell’s recommendations. This was never a funding guarantee, and Mr. Pakula now seeks to disown the approach he took when in Government.” Mr. Dalla-Riva said.
“As Minister, I have extended that arrangement in good faith with JobWatch through to June 30, when the current funding agreement expires. Beyond that, I will be meeting the chair and deputy chair of JobWatch to discuss how and what funding arrangements might apply into the future.”
“Contrary to media reports, I have discussed these issues in my office with the executive director of the organisation.”
“The Coalition Government will follow through where Labor failed. We urge JobWatch to take up Professor Campbell’s recommendations and look to identify alternative sources of funding as a community legal service provider.” Mr. Dalla-Riva said.