Finance and Public Administration Committee
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE
Inquiry into the Nation Building and Jobs Plan
February 5 2009
Topic: Matching Capacity Constraints with Training Packages
Hansard Page: 36
Senator MILNE asked:
…The second thing is: was any consideration given to match the capacity constraints with training packages? You might have short-term, three-month TAFE courses or something to help upgrade the skills of plumbers to be able to roll out solar hot water or those kinds of issues. In the case of school libraries, we will have libraries built and no trained librarians to go in them. Was there any discussion of the complementarity of the people and the skills base that is needed (a) to deliver the infrastructure and (b) to actually maximise its benefits?
Dr Henry— …The second point is that, as all senators would be aware, the Prime Minister and the Treasurer met with the premiers, the chief ministers and their treasurers this morning to, among other things, discuss this very point. All the premiers and chief ministers and the Prime Minister obviously recognise that, in order for these programs to be implemented in the way that is set out in this document, there will need to be strong coordination between governments. They agreed this morning on a set of quite formal implementation and monitoring arrangements to ensure that, where there are difficulties of implementation, those difficulties are identified very early and responses are developed to address those implementation difficulties.
Senator Cameron interjecting—
Dr Henry—Yes, it does.
Senator MILNE—Would that include training?
Dr Henry—That is the second part of your question, which, I am sorry, I cannot answer. I am not sure. I do not think so, but I will take that on notice.
The COAG’s National Partnership Agreement on the Nation Building and Jobs Plan sets out the details on the roles and responsibilities of the Commonwealth and the States and Territories. For example, schedule D sets out the details of the Building the Education Revelation program.
• D3. As the cost to the Commonwealth budget is intended to be one-off, any ongoing administration, maintenance or co-investment costs associated with the expenditure are to be borne by the states.
Ensuring that there were trained librarians in libraries would therefore be a responsibility of the states.