Minister Has Questions To Answer On VET Advisory Board Appointments

Minister Ian MacFarlane must answer urgent questions about his recent announcement of the new Vocation Education Training Advisory Board.  Sharon Bird has lodged a number of Questions in Writing to Minister Macfarlane which have been published in the House of Representatives Notice Paper today.

“The new Board came out of nowhere, it has no public provider or staff representation and there are a number of questions to be answered by the Minister in relation to the establishment, purpose and composition of the Board,” Sharon Bird said.

“The Chair of the Board is reportedly a key fundraiser for Treasurer Joe Hockey.

“The Minister failed in his announcement to provide any details on whether stakeholders were consulted, what the role and the scope of the board is and what remuneration the members of the Board will receive.

“I call on Minister Macfarlane, in the interests of transparency and good governance, to urgently answer these questions.

These questions are: 

  • When did his department first provide advice to him on      the establishment of the Vocational Education and Training Advisory Board.
  • From where did the request to establish the Board come.
  • What process was followed to attract and select      candidates for appointment to the Board.
  • Were stakeholders consulted about the proposed Board      and its membership; if so, who, and when; if not, why not.
  • Were other office holders, Ministers or their offices      consulted on the Board formation and appointments.
  • What will be the role and scope of work of the Board.
  • What remuneration will members of the Board receive.

House of Representatives Notice Paper No 58, 26 August 2014

 “The Minister claims he wants industry-led advice, yet he disbanded AWPA which brought together the peak national bodies such as ACCI, AiGroup and the ACTU to provide policy advice and on skills and whose Chair and CEO between them had almost sixty years of experience industry and the vocational education and skills sector.

“Given there was no discussion of the new Board prior to the announcement, the Minister should answer these questions with urgency,” Ms Bird said.