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Asbestos agency remains under a cloud

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Asbestos agency remains under a cloud

Asbestos agency remains under a cloud

The Asbestos Eradication Agency may be in this year’s federal budget but there’s no telling for how long it will stay.

As reported in an earlier e-bulletin, the agency looked like it had escaped the cull recommended in the Commission of Audit when it turned up as a line item in the budget.

However, a report authored by the federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has surfaced referring to the agency as “window dressing”, and saying that when it was created in 2013 its function was already “being carried out as a separately-branded office within the then Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations”.

In parliament last week, Prime Minister Tony Abbott disputed Opposition claims that he was allowing the agency to be axed. “It has not been axed: it is as simple as that—it has not been axed,” Abbott said.

However, as the Refugee Council of Australia discovered last week, being a line item in the budget doesn’t mean that funding will flow as expected.

For more details, visit the report.

Published on 5 June 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

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