Vocational Education Minister Scott Ryan has been left red faced for giving a speech to a national training organisation that not only lifted – without attribution – quotes directly from the association's own journal, but also praised the "current" work of an entity that no longer exists.
Last Thursday Senator Ryan delivered the keynote address to Group Training Australia's national conference in Adelaide.
GTA is the body representing Australia's largest employer network of apprentices and trainees.
In his address the minister lauded the work of a Charters Towers based trainer Rural Industry and Extension, or RITE, for providing training right across northern Australia.
In his speech Senator Ryan said "Six trainers traverse the country in mobile training units comprising a truck and trailer and everything the trainer needs including horses and motorbikes and can cover up to 80,000 kilometres in a year.
"Instead of training at a campus or having the participants go off-site, RITE goes on-site and looks for something of value to do in the community, everything from building market gardens, sheds, and barbecues for the community, as well as bore maintenance on the lands' tribal areas."
If conference attendees thought the comments sounded familiar, they were right.
Those words included in Senator Ryan's speech appear to have been lifted almost word for word from a March 2014 edition of the GTA's own journal Network.
The minister made no reference to the article or even the quotes he seemed to have appropriated.
But perhaps even more embarrassing for Senator Ryan was the fact that the training company he praised so enthusiastically, folded early last year.