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Leaked work for the dole report exposes flawed ideology

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 9 Dec 2014

The Australian Greens said today that leaked briefing documents for the Government's work for the dole plans in remote communities proves their approach is underpinned by flawed ideology and is clearly discriminatory.

"The Government's new approach will end in disaster for Aboriginal people and communities. This is an ideological approach not based on evidence and with people being set up to failed and be dumped off income support", Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues said today.

"The Government is implementing a discriminatory regime that will subject people to the equivalent of very low wages for 25 hours work a week, with harsh penalties for non-compliance.

"Reports published today containing details of leaked documents shows the Government's condescending language and lack of respect for job seekers. The documents appear to be laced with ideology and the characterisation of unemployed people as undeserving of income support.

"The document admits that there are ‘limited or no real labour markets, as well as unique social problems' - but that they are a result of ‘passive welfare'. This shows a lack of understanding of the factors that contribute to disadvantage in remote communities. Work for the dole won't address the lack of a labour market".

"Rather than investing in communities to create genuine, long term employment opportunities, the Government is even cutting payments to help job seekers buy clothing and equipment for training. The Government has picked up the Forrest mantra of ‘training for training sake' and are planning to cut funding for some of the basic work ready skills in Certificates I and II, when it is these sorts of skills that are essential as part of being job ready.

"The tough compliance measures, which include making job providers contractually obliged to report non-compliance, will make it hard for genuine relationships and partnerships to be established between jobseekers, employers and service providers.

"This Government's approach is underpinned by their flawed ideology and a desire to punish people, rather than genuinely support them, it is clear that once again they have failed to consult on this approach" Senator Siewert concluded.


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