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This government is now officially obscene

One of my more mundane, but at times more amusing jobs as a federal public servant was for a short time reviewing letters to and from the Prime Minister and happy or unhappy campers. The Prime Minister, of course, laid his or her eyes on none of these letters.

I recall one letter to Kevin Rudd from a fanatically furious and foul-mouthed lady demanding that the government do more for her. She had been unemployed for eight years and it was, by the tone and content of the letter, Kevin Rudd’s fault plain and simple. In that eight years she had applied for a whopping 30 jobs and was exasperated that she was still unemployed. The announcement of her desperate plight concluded with these exact words: “What more do I have to do?”

Thirty job applications in eight years; well, I guess she could have done a bit more.

I hope she finally has a job. I also hope she’s over 30. If the answer is ‘no’ to either then she’s about to get real busy.

Young job seekers forced to wait six months for unemployment benefits will be required to apply for 40 jobs a month . . . despite not receiving any money, job seekers will be required to meet the activity requirements for unemployment benefits throughout this period.

If they fail to do so, their waiting period will be extended by four weeks.

A spokeswoman for Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews defended the requirements.

“These expectations are reasonable… “

Surely they can’t be serious?

Expecting a person to apply for ten jobs a week is as ridiculous as applying for 30 in eight years.

Many would argue that there are probably thousands of unemployed people who do actually apply for 10 jobs a week, and there no doubt are. I admire their tenacity and resolve. But to expect everyone under the net to apply for 10 jobs a week is raising the bar of expectation far too high.

Apart from the incredible expense this saddles upon the job seeker (as noted by Rossleigh), there are plenty of others who will feel the strain. Can you imagine how unproductive for an employer it would be if he or she were to receive truck loads of applications for a job he or she placed in the local paper? Every employer who advertised a position will in all likelihood need a good two weeks just wading through the applications.

Can you imagine the pitfalls of offering yourself as a referee for a job seeker who applies for ten jobs a week? Unless you enjoy writing referee reports or constantly taking calls from hopeful employers then it’s highly likely you’d happily rescind your offer.

And what if you scored an interview but could not attend because it was in a town or city hundreds of kilometres from where you live? You only applied for the job because there were none in your home town. You knew that you couldn’t attend the interview and by applying for the job you’ve basically wasted the employer’s time, but you applied because of your obligations.

Dozens of examples could be put forward that highlight where this policy is an absolute farce. It’s just another farcical policy from what is nothing more than a farcical government. For the Minister’s office to suggest that these expectations on the job seekers are reasonable show that he has no idea what young people outside of his circle of acquaintances have to endure. Where they live. How they live. Their family circumstances.

Doesn’t he realise that most unemployed people are trying to find work? Does he too not realise that there aren’t enough jobs to go around? Does he not understand the depression many of these young people have to deal with even without this added responsibility.

I’m appalled that this government has decided for themselves that all young unemployed people aren’t doing enough to find work. The mere fact that they are hopeful of introducing a policy that will deny people under the age of 30 any income support is surely enough motivation for those young people to find work. They don’t need to be made to apply for 40 jobs a month. They don’t need to be set up for failure.

This is obscene.

Has the Minister even bothered to look at the vacancies in any rural area to see if there are even 40 jobs a month on offer? Has anyone? And now we read that there are forecasts that the job market is going to dry up even further for young people.

It’s a pity that Ministers never get (or bother) to read the correspondence from disgruntled voters such as the lady who wrote to Kevin Rudd. If they did, maybe they’d come to the realisation of what life is like in the real world.

More articles by Michael Taylor:

Hockey’s lazy, lying helpers

Can ‘The Australian’ stoop any lower?

Just a quick question; has the line been crossed?


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  1. Tracie

    There are also few incentives for people to consider starting their own business. The market out there is so incredibly hard to crack.

    What I believe this government has no idea about is there must be employers as well as employees. Not every person is suited to becoming an employee, which is why many should be considering starting their own business.

    However, this government is so rancid, it puts many off the idea of owning their own business. Times are too incredibly tight to spend money.

    This ‘government’ needs to go!

  2. Darin Sullivan

    Really good points. I knew the pressure and expectations of this side of the budget were onerous, but when highlighted this way, it really shows how unreasonable it is. Well done.

  3. Tracie

    I like that article Margaret-Rose. I’m so terrified of the Afghanis, I’m getting a kebab from the local shop for dinner tonight!

  4. Florence nee Fedup

    Has anyone given thought, that many under thirty are ;likely to have families, and yes even mortgages.

    Not likely to have substantial savings, or as Hockey seems to believe, redundancy packages to fall back on. Most will have experience, and even some trade or other skill training at the very least. Most would have been lucky, if they had permanent work before losing their jobs.

    What this government is setting out to accomplish has little to do with reality or is even rational.

    They are acting on their own prejudices, that there is no evidence to support. Most, as work for the dole, has been tried, and failed.

    Same goes for their actions on disability and other benefits. Cuckoo land stuff.

    Could have something to do with keeping wages down., Yes, if there are no benefits, the worker will have to accept whatever is offered at the lowest wage possible.

  5. Florence nee Fedup

    Waiting for the rule that says one misses out, if one leaves a job, no matter what.

  6. Tracie

    I thought that was a given Florence. Work for the dole is alive and well, by the way. But I’m sure that missing out is going to be a prerogative for everyone, and not just for those under 30.

  7. Diannaart


    In my work history I had to prepare replies to the minister of the day.

    Just thinking about your particularly P/O’ed job seeker, maybe she meant she had actually attended 30 actual interviews in 8 years – getting to that stage in the job-seeking cycle, 30 could be quite reasonable.

    That’s that thing with unemployment, different people living in different parts of the country, different circumstances, support networks or lack, transport or lack. Tarring youth with the same dirty brush doesn’t help anyone, but it does sell newspapers, I mean, budgets.

    Also, a thought on these “lifters & leaners” – Hockey forgot the third category making up the triumvirate – the people who divide others into “lifters & leaners” , AKA Dickheads.

  8. Kathy Sutherland

    Price of stamps has just gone up too. And I don’t know if many young people with no money wouldhave easy Internet access to send email applications.

  9. Keitha Granville

    Something that I find puzzling, and is going to become next to impossible I would imagine, will be the lot of the job agent. It seems to me that an agent should be actually doing something to help job seekers find work, when in fact at the moment they simply tick off that you have complied with your requirement and then set your next appointment – well, that has been my son’s experience apart from completing a course in retail and preparing a resume. He does all his own job searching, no-one assists him in that, and yet I understand that when he finds work they will be rewarded ? How does that work ? So when the new 40 jobs a month deal comes in they’ll have to tick off that you have 40 on your list instead of 10 – are they going to check them all ? Sure they are. For everyone ? Sure. It’s total nonsense. This has been set up so that they can cut people off, so that people will just stop trying, stop claiming, and they can then point to the unemployment figures and say “Look, it’s much less now, how clever are we !” Does anyone really think that all those people living on next to nothing would say no to a job ? Where are the jobs Mr Hockey ? I search every day for my son, he searches every day – on the net, on his feet. He is falling through the cracks. You are right, it is now definitely obscene.

  10. Diannaart


    We did have such an employment agency, it was called the CES; the Commonwealth Employment Scheme had been whittled down by the Hawke/Keating years and completely gutted by Howard in 2000.

  11. jeremy..

    I was working on my property today (sounds grand but only 5 acres) when i was I was approached by two young bloke’s spruiking for cash in hand labouring work. I mentioned that there may be work at a local building site and they told me that they were on Centrelink and if they took “on the books” casual work they would have to re-apply once the work dried up.

    This is something I hadn’t thought about. By making it harder to for the young unemployed to claim benefits it actually discourages them from giving up these benefits and take up opportunities of paid work because when the work dries up they have to go through the requalification period again (and again, and again, and ag…..).

  12. Kaye Lee

    The changes to Newstart are expected to save the Government $1.2 billion over the four-year forward estimates period. Tony’s PPL scheme is expected to cost $22.2 billion over the same period. Who needs more help – young people trying to start out in life or rich women who already have a job to go back to after 6 months on the public purse?

  13. ian saffin

    “I hope she finally has a job. I also hope she’s over 30. If the answer is ‘no’ to either then she’s about to get real busy.”
    Classic line, Mick.

  14. Lawrence Winder

    “….another farcical policy from what is nothing more than a farcical government.”
    You have to admit, they do farce really well as evidenced by “Rabbutts” Tour de Farce.
    And vindictiveness.
    And shonky dealings.
    And small mindedness.
    When the ferryman has to be paid…. it’s going to be very, very interesting.

  15. Jenny van

    Maybe everyone who is looking for work should send letters to their local MP applying for a job in their office. When the pollies are inundated with applications from people who have no experience/skills for jobs that don’t exist they may then get an idea of what it is like in the real world.

  16. Florence nee Fedup

    I was mainly talking about those under thirty, which are not actually kids.

  17. Tracie

    That’s a good idea! Perhaps we should all tweet Joe Hockey as well:

    ‘Give me a job you idiot’ or thereabouts.

  18. Dion Giles

    The pollies’ practice of putting young people in their place by making them approach a quota of employers daily with pleas for a job, in order to be repeatedly told they’re not wanted, has always put me in mind of something that was in the papers shortly after the war. The civilians in the ruins of Berlin were starving, and cigarettes were a prized currency for buying the bare necessities of life. Some degenerates among the occupying soldiers were finding it a wizard jape to place a pack of cigarettes on a post and line up a couple of dozen civilians, many of them sick and old, 40 yards away to crawl through the snow in a race for the prize. The winner got to eat for a day. Different circumstances but the same spirit. The pollies and officials can have only one goal – to humiliate people denied a job.

  19. Florence nee Fedup

    Has any assessment been made of the dismantling of the CES, and what it was replaced with. Never heard of anyone getting a job through what we have now. Never heard of anyone with a good word for them.

  20. Matters Not

    Job applications? I’ve read a few. Sometimes numbering in the hundreds for a particular, specialist position. Of course, not all members of a selection panel read all the applications. I never did. Who had the time?

    Those who didn’t directly address the selection criteria were rapidly confined to the ‘circular file’; all with the initial assistance of secretarial support. So any person hoping for an interview needs virtually a new application for a particular position. No generics please. Very time consuming.

    Those who couldn’t spell, made fundamental grammatical mistakes, or couldn’t construct basic sentences faced an early ‘cut’. I imagine it’s the same today.

    Those who warrant an interview face further hurdles. Not sure how many ‘tattooed’ people were on the front line a decade or so ago, but I never saw any. These days I imagine there’s plenty of teachers, nurses, doctors and the like who are also adorned these days. How things change. But not all employers are impressed.

  21. Michael Taylor

    Hi Diannaart. As incredible as it sounds, it was 30 applications, not 30 interviews.

  22. corvus boreus

    Already seen to be obscene in so many ways.
    Obscene in their blinkered denial of the principles of science, and the sabotaging of it’s implementation.
    Obscene socio-pathic ideological blindness to the pain in individual and collective circumstances, from struggling elderly to desperate refugees; we imprison unaccompanied minors guilty of no crimes in worse conditions than our worst criminals.
    Obscene hubris in attempting to impose narrow faith-based view of morality over the populace through intrusive legislation.
    Obscene in twisting the teachings of that faith to justify rapaciousness and repression.
    Obscene in the hypocrisy of demanding increasing hardship, adherence to ever-more draconian laws, diminished services, and all other manner of sacrifice from the majority population, whilst sheltering and subsidising bloated entities, sponsoring cronies and avoiding all accountability or discipline in their own conduct.
    Obscene in their inconsistencies. To quote a character in a movie,”they train the young men to drop fire on people, but they won’t let them write ‘f*ck’ on their aircraft, because it is ‘obscene'”.

  23. Richard Knowles

    Importantly, the requirement for 40 jobs a month distorts the previous requirement that in return for income support from the State the job seeker would seek work. Here the State is not doing its part – provide income support – but the job seeker is still expected to look for work and survive without an income. Something screwy and unjust, undermining what Australians previously understood by the mutual obligation concepts that underpinned our social welfare. Where was this in the budget? When was this discussed with Australians? And why are the Government politicians silent here? What legislation now supports this new rule or is this rule recently created policy?

  24. beemay

    back in 2008 my daughter was unemployed for 9 months after completing her chosen career course. a difficult area of expertise to get into. she went to canberra for study as we as a whole family had moved to a country area close by a city as we are chronically ill disablity and age pensioners with a mortgage who wanted to make ends meet.
    She had to attend work for the dole after 6 months. this entailed going to local showground. boys dug holes, girls literally licked stamps and addressed envelopes. Apart from being hugely sexist in its approach to labour, the kids did not learn anything worth taking to a job other than turning up on time and taking direction without question.
    It also cost more than she was given on youth allowance. there is no public transport at was 40km each way,to the showground, I ,disabled, had to drive her as my husband was legally blind with cataracts at the time.the cost for petrol exceeded youth allowance even with the extra $10 a week, which did not cover one return trip of approx$12. It cost $120 a week to get her there and back. From memory that is more than she received, approx $220 per fortnight.She also was trying to find a ‘real” job during this time. She also had to attend centrelink appointments, with no transport from the showground into town,so every 2 weeks I had to wait in town or make a 3rd trip in.Thankfully when she did get an interview in Canberra, the job centre paid for the petrol as there was just no money left.They also paid for her to sit for her motorbike L’s so that she had the means to get to and from once she had a job to save for an old bike,and she would catch the buses in canberra until then.Thankfully she got a decent job in canberra, , 6 years later is still there as no opportunities in her field.
    My point of all this is that it is already costly to comply with the rules for payment and seek work at the same time when you are starting with nothing. going from school to tertiary even if able to secure some maccas work, there is little opportunity to save.. for kids like mine whose parents are not well off, it is going to be a nightmare. Even if this child had said, hey i’ll take anything, even pick fruit in our area, she would not have had the means to get there and back,ok yes they can camp out…..that means a tent, sleeping bag, camping equipment, none of us had the means to purchase. Its viscous what this govt is’s blaming the poor,why don’t they be done with it and reopen the poorhouses!!!!

  25. Di

    I am not usually cynical but please, this government is really doing my head in.

    Ok so here is the thing.

    Firstly, who is going to ‘audit’ the 40 applications per month? Because that is not going to (a) require any resources or (b) create a whole new set of skills – probably negating any cost benefit that was supposed to have occurred. Has that even been thought of?

    Second, to meet the requirement, the job seeker can probably click on 10 job applications through any on-line job seeker site and in doing so, *learns* how to rort the system.

    Because realistically, how are the 2 sides of the equation really going to come together? That is, who will check the job seeker has actually applied for a job. The employer, inundated with applications probably wouldn’t have a clue or is this going to apply an added impost on all prospective employers by way of some sort of reporting?

    Meanwhile if the reporting or audit gets it wrong the job seeker is penalised.

    Well done LNP. Another well thought out policy that engages with the people to promote good solid behaviours and outcomes — not!

  26. Winifred Jeavons

    Increasingly this budget appears quite unworkable. It always was immoral, ideological, drivel, but it could infuriate employers and employees alike to insist that we have SOME competence at the top. An unworkable policy will first cause chaos, then civil disobedience, then violence . This far right wing bunch of dimwits will have much to answer for quite soon.

  27. Danni

    Has anybody thought about the annoyance of having non-stop unemployed people knocking on your door asking for a job or non-stop interruptions with phone calls or emails? 40 applications a month from ONE person in one particular suburb multiplied by how many in that area?

    Surely the government by now can start it’s own employment agency breaking jobs down by suburb first, then category, followed by part-time, full-time, school hours etc.! THE ONE STOP SHOP!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Dave Hudson

    Its CAPITALISM that is the problem. Any fool can see that. We need a new system, because this one is extremely unfair to those who deserve it least. full stop. end of argument.

  29. Angela

    The Govt. would have to be aware that most of the unemployed people just get the 40 names/addresses of companies out of the yellow pages…yes?

    Govt. should be asking for say one INTERVIEW per week and forget the 40 fake applications a month. It’s a very stressful thing being unemployed let alone having to prove you apply for 40 jobs!

  30. M

    I am 21 years old and have been unemployed for 18 months. I have been knocked back for more then 40 jobs that I actually made to the interview stage and maybe close to an 60 that I applied for. I completed year 12, 2x cert 1 & 2, rsa and rsg, red card and a few tickets to still end up with no job.

    There are limited job openings to begin with, let alone entry level jobs for young people like me trying to enter the workforce. What the goverment really need to realiis there arent enough entry level jobs, most jobs ive come across employers are looking for 5+ years of experience which I clearly dont have. Then just to add to the stress the government wants to take away dole payments for unemployed under 30 and make them wait 6 months to get payment provided they meet the requirements. Did they ever think how many under 30 are going to be homeless as a result of this?

  31. Anna

    I was unemployed for a couple of months and was required to apply for 10 jobs a fortnight ( I was actually applying for more than 10 a week). I would not have been able to do so under the proposed regulations if I was under 30 as no income would have meant no roof over my head, no internet to apply for jobs, no way to pay for petrol or public transport to get to interviews etc. This government is so completely out of touch with reality it really is obscene.

  32. Vicki PS

    Applying for 10 jobs a week probably seems like a doddle when your usual application process is to ring someone on the old Liberal mates’ network, or get your Daddy to do so. Similarly, living off Mumsy and Daddy for another 5 years wouldn’t be too hard to take, especially if Daddy can give continue to use you as the equivalent of a barrel girl on the campaign trail.

  33. Jeremy Methorst

    The real kicker is going to be for part timers. Since full unemployed people who can’t get income support will quickly become “in financial hardship” and migrate to stream 3 or 4, they’re okay. But what about someone who works 10 hours a week (because that’s all they can get)? Do they only get income support for 6 months of a year?

    They’ve already GOT a job, so obviously they’re stream 1-ish.
    Such a very silly policy.

  34. Carol Taylor

    The Nats have something to answer for, for their complete and utter failure to support country kids and country towns. When would a medium size country town even have 40 jobs (for which one has suitable qualifications), in any given period of time? Abbott’s answer is that young people should be prepared to move to where the work is, thereby further depleting the viability of rural communities. Shouldn’t the correct answer be ‘jobs creation’ in rural communities rather than punishment of people who live there?

    It would be impossible for people living in most country towns to fulfill the criteria that the government intends to impose.

  35. Florence nee Fed up

    Can someone explain why this government expects to save millions of dollars with this move. It, in no way increases the jobs available. If the job seeker

    The skill obtained will not necessary lead to a job. What do they then, sign on to another course. Who keeps a roof over the head of and feeds the kids??? Yes, many will have families. We are not talking about school leavers. We are talking about people who have been in the workforce, up to a decade.

    When they do get a job, it is likely to be casual, even on call. Yes, that is the job market theses people face. If they get three shifts a week, they will be lucky.

  36. Florence nee Fed up

    Mutual Obligation of the Howard years seem to have hit the dust. This government has dump any obligation they might have to ordinary people. Seems to be only interested in big business.

    This PM has just gone on a sudden world tour, with the aim of saving the coal industry.

  37. Carol Taylor

    Florence, the government is somewhat delusional..they believe that there are jobs going begging if only those lazy young people/single mums/disabled would just get off their bums, they could turn their lives around..have meaningful, well paying jobs and so be able to take yearly holidays to St Moritz just like they do.

    Meanwhile in the government’s bizarro world, they say ‘earn of learn’ while cancelling trades training in schools and cancelling mostly anything/everything which provides assistance for people to get off benefits and into employment. Sticks the size of forests and carrots the size of peas.

  38. Fred Martin

    Way back when the power industry in Victoria was Government owned the old SECV used to take on 200 apprentices per year in various trades. Not all theses apprentices got jobs at the end of their training but they at least all came out with a trade qualification and work experience.
    Net result – Latrobe valley in Victoria had one of the best skilled workforce’s in the country and one of the lowest unemployment rates.
    Wind forward a few years.
    The SECV was sold off to private enterprise. There are now something like 10-20 apprentices a year trained in the Latrobe Valley and it now has one of the highest unemployment rates in Australia.
    But hey ! Now that we have a more efficient, competitive power industry our electricity is cheaper and more reliable ??? ………NOT !

  39. DEe

    OBSCENE totally agree

    I have worked and paid taxes since I was 15 years old – now I face trying to plan for retirement in an environment where Governments changes the goal posts for the aging population. I have gone without and saved a ¼ of my salary over the last 12 years and put it into superannuation as we were told to do, so that I can live on $500.00 a week when I retire which will only last me for 13 years.

    Scary stuff I have to say. So while I have been trying to not be a burden on society in my old age, the fact is when I turn 75 years of age I will have no money left to live on and will have to survive and go on a pension if Australia still has a pension in 13 years?

  40. Florence nee Fed up

    They make as much, or more realistically no sense, when it comes to health and education., All cuckoo schemes.

    Now Abbott says his world tour, taken while his party is trying to sell his toxic budget is a success.

    Yes, and he, with solemn face, is warning us of the dangers in Iraq. Yes, maybe there is, but at the end of the day, it is a civil war. A war that one would be wise to keep distant from.

    We know his trek, cross the world, going to the aid of his Canadian mate, then assisting the Tea Party and coal industry in the good old USA. Who was it a success for. Not for us, I am afraid.

  41. Kerri

    What I find equally obscene with the “unemployed are not trying hard enough” head up your arse out if touch with reality demands on the young unemployed is that this government has been responsible for the absolute decimation of jobs across Australia!! They kill of industries like blowflies then criticize the unemployed for not having a job. Let’s sack them! They need to feel what it is like to be jobless!

  42. Florence nee Fed up

    Kerri, have you any idea of how much one has to live on when relying on Newstart. Believe me, it is far from a life of luxury. It hardly covers food, let al0ne rent.

    I do not and cannot believe that many would choose this life. There is much more going on.

    Kerri, it is you that needs to get your head out of the clouds I suspect.

  43. Florence nee Fed up

    Sorry, Kerri, I might owe you a apology. Do not often make that mistake.

    My opinion still stands, for those who believe the unemployed are to blame for the circumstances they find themselves in. I think the person that raised the lack of entry jobs for the young, might just have a point.

    Employers today, are unwilling to train workers. Now the are unwilling to take in inexperience workers. How one deals with this, I do not know.,

  44. Florence nee Fed up

    It seems not so much to be lack of jobs in general, but lack of jobs for the inexperience workers.

  45. Lee

    A recent vacancy for one admin person in my workplace attracted 150 applicants. Imagine how many more there will be when all unemployed people have to apply for 10 jobs per week.

  46. S

    wouldn’t it be lovely if we all had friends in high places ,where we could get our children a job ,in place of a few favours.
    this government has lost the plot,i live in a little village with no employment at all ,the nearest town is some 40ks away,and with so many business closing you would have mine and buckleys ,of getting a job there,and with the young unemployment rate around 12% what hope is their of them finding work

  47. SWGreg

    Whoever is affected by this policy needs to go and sit in the office of the local member of parliament until they take notice of them. And when they ask what he is doing make it clear they have nowhere else to go. Would be good if all people in that situation could do that. I am sure each office could only take twenty or thirty people before it couldn’t get work done. In addition, the press of being ‘thrown out of the local member’s office’ might also be quite valuable…
    Quiet, persistent protest. Don’t make a fuss, but bring a sleeping bag if you don’t have any other place to live. Might make it real for the staffers at least, if not the local member.

    in addition, reflecting on what was said above, it should be that everyone applying for a job puts the name and office contact (and mobile if possible) of the local or nearest member that voted in favour of this situation as a referee. Unlike what Jenny van said above about applying there, the office would get so many calls they may not be able to operate.

  48. Lee

    I’d love to see all unemployed people send a job application to their local member of parliament on a monthly basis.

  49. Stephen Tardrew

    This is straight out cruel, nasty social engineering and class warfare of the worst kind reminiscent of 19th century industrial England. Poor houses are not on the way because privatized juvenile incarceration and adult prisons will be the free market substitute. All hail Tea Party libertarianism and personal responsibility. Our youth will be schooled in juvenile justice to re-skill eventually entering criminal justice where, in some US states, children are tried as adults. Our laudatory brothers and sisters in the US seem to have a strangle hold on inequality and cruel imposition of blame upon the low income and impoverished. Who has the highest incarceration rate in the world? Golly gee the good old US of A. What a formidable example of social justice and democracy. Just get rid of food stamp and starve the indolent homeless and unemployed bludgers. We still don’t get it. No Wall Street financiers or Investment bankers went to jail for wrecking the world economy meanwhile let’s beat the crap out of the under 30’s and make their lives misery just like the US. That’ll teach them personal responsibility and discipline. And just for the fun of it hit the disabled an aged pensioners as well. In fact why not beat up all legitimate welfare recipients to show how tough and heartless we are. And these troglodytes are proud of their cruelty.
    This government is an abomination and the fawning of journalist over Abbott and his government is sickening. Anyone watch the sweet rationalizations peddled on Insiders by so called journalists.
    I think we can agree amongst ourselves that this is injustice and cruelty of epic proportions perpetrated by the wealthy upon the poor.
    What the hell bloody country am I living in? It looks more and more like a circus for the rich and a prison for the low income and poor.
    The list is long so we need not quibble over minutia let’s just call them out for the cruel lying classicist shysters they are.

  50. Peter Anson

    Some people are wondering if the moral barometer of this current government can sink lower than its current reading.They can go lower.They could legislate jail for the unemployed. They could introduce workhouses.. This is a christian government (mostly catholic) driven by guilt. Sins must not go unpunished. It is a mortal sin to be poor. We are dealing with superstitious, illogical people, whose philosophical and moral outlook is 2000 years old. They eat and drink flesh and blood in rituals convened by men in preposterous clothing who speak in tongues of miracles and something they call god. Nothing surprises me in their treatment of fellow human beings. They truly are perverts. They belong to the wealthiest and most powerful organisation on the planet. Not one member of our Parliament has any direct experience of poverty. All of them born with silver spoons. These are dangerous men indeed!! Never underestimate how sick and how mad and how smart these people are.And how much they crave power over you and your children and their children and their children’s children……. a cursory reading of history will confirm the hatred that religion has for mankind and religions’ efforts to destroy life on this planet.

  51. paul walter

    It is true sado economics and it is sick and it is fitting that it is represented by individuals like Hockey, Abbott and Andrews.

    If only they were forced to live under the conditions they impose on others.

    It is, of course, the extension of the slippery slope that began with the bridge head of dehumanisation of asylum seekers, to wider society.

  52. tanya czernyszow

    This government is offensive, with it’s financial decision making on the welfare system, medical, education and employment. We need them out now! This government is insane!

  53. Lachlan Paff

    To be honest, I really don’t think Andrews cares. Like many of the others on the Abbott front bench, he’s so convinced of the correctness of his position that to even consider an alternative position would rock his world view, you only have to remember his refusal to contemplate an apology to Dr Haneef after his department and the AFP dragged that poor man through the mud over the most flimsiest of evidence. Haneef, if you remember, was a well respected Doctor working at the Tweed Heads Hospital.

    It would be interesting to see if Andrews ever had another career outside politics – one suspects not. Those that do, usually are not as fanatical as their views are often tempered by their experience in the real world. Tony Abbott’s only stint in what I would call real world employ was as a columnist for the Bulletin, other than that he’s been to university, a seminary, a staffer for Dr Hewson, then a politician hardly the making of a leader grounded in the here and now and it goes to explain a great deal about this PM’s lack of understanding or empathy for anyone from the other side of life to him. Unfortunately the same lack of real world experience is found in many of the current government’s front bench – many of them are ex political staffers. This will only get worse because many now see politics as a career rather than a community service.

  54. corvus boreus

    Jay, there’s productive counter-consensus input and there’s pointless semantics based in speculative statistics, to the point one could suspect ulterior motives(won’t use the t word yet), especially when opened with a “sorry to say ‘ridiculous and stupid'” and ended with a “whinge”. If you are going to be sorry to say it, phrase it differently.
    We are not talking about mutual obligation when all onus is on the recipient of nothing. You are defending the proposal of a six month unpaid apprenticeships for the privilege of receiving the dole, regardless of circumstances of unemployment
    I am happy for a percentage of the taxes upon my incomes to go to social welfare for the young unemployed, if only for the pragmatic reason that it prevents a larger proportion of them enacting crimes of desperation against me.
    Get out of the world of numbers and consider the realities of society, as in people, and life, as in that biology stuff we rely on to live.

  55. Quint

    Hear hear Peter Anson.

    This is most pertinent and given the history of this race, the most disappointing aspect of all this.

    We simply do not learn a damn thing.

  56. corvus boreus

    when philosophy, with it’s lessons in self-examination,
    and history, with it’s lessons on manipulations of group behavior,
    and even science, with it’s lessons on how shit works,
    are accepted and encouraged in disparagement as pointless and self-indulgent,
    and compartmentally sociopathic bean counters and quibblers rule our chambers,
    stupid shit will continue to be perpetrated upon blinkered herds baffled by a barrage of bullshit brayed by a bunch of black belts in babble.
    Turn off the pop crap and listen to the clever people, including the long dead ones.
    I’m off to work.

  57. Truth Seeker

    Good one Migs 😀

    And on a related issue: “Said the Abbott to0 the experts” for a little light relief 😉

    Said the Abbott to the experts

    All your claims are overblown

    Cos we have our own, fine experts

    Who are Liberal, and home grown

    They tell me what I need to know

    Without all of the bunkum

    And if you think qualifications matters

    Well they haven’t stopped lord Monkton

    The rest can be found here:

    Said the Abbott to the experts…

    Cheers 😀

  58. Michael Taylor

    Jay, you are overlooking one very important detail: there aren’t enough jobs to start with. 😯

  59. Lee

    The 40 applications per month is over the top and I don’t agree with forcing people to apply for jobs or attend interviews when they are not suitably qualified for the position. It only humiliates them even further, plus it wastes everyone’s time and money.

    However I do have to agree with Jay. The 40 applications per month shouldn’t be that hard to accomplish. Any serious job seeker will have a form letter and all their relevant documents stored electronically. Lots of jobs require applications submitted electronically these days and for others that accept hardcopies, applications submitted via email are often considered satisfactory and normal. Electronic submissions provide a record that one has actually applied. The government won’t be checking them all anyway. They’re cutting back on public servants all the time. Plus I’ve worked in the public service for 30 years. I know what they are like. 😉 Most people who fake their applications will go undetected.

    Most people if they don’t have internet access at home, will have access to a public library. Lots of places also have free wi-fi. If they live in rural areas, most will have family or friends with internet access who will surely let them use it to apply for jobs.

    No one has to wait for jobs to be advertised in order to apply. Send letters to large companies every month or two. Send one to the local member of parliament once a month. Really drive home the message that there are not enough jobs out there.

  60. John921Fraser


    You apparently don't mind people ripping you off.
    Why else would you be putting forth the argument that people rip of the government to obtain the dole.
    Send me $500 and I will send you "winning" Lotto numbers for the next 40 draws.

  61. Diannaart

    Carol, excellent point

    The Nats have something to answer for, for their complete and utter failure to support country kids and country towns. When would a medium size country town even have 40 jobs (for which one has suitable qualifications), in any given period of time?

    Warren Truss – what is your excuse? Could be the position of Deputy Prime Minister of Australia means much more than the lives of your country constituents?

  62. Diannaart


    ….and the really wonderful thing is that when young people do find work be it seasonal or contract or other of temporary duration – they get to go on the income-free roller-coaster for another 6 months. You know it makes sense 😛

  63. Lee

    I’m not reading that Jay is supporting the planned changes upon the unemployed. He simply appears to be saying that obtaining the 40 applications per month quota shouldn’t be that difficult for most people to achieve.

    Seriously, if I was unemployed, the 40 applications per month would be the least of my worries. Sending them off would be a walk in the park. Keeping the roof over one’s head and staying fed would be far more difficult to achieve.

  64. John921Fraser



    Jay also "advised" people to forge the government document stating that the unemployed person did the required search to get the dole.

    Discounting major cities …. how long do you think it would take the unemployed to reach the 40 mark and then start the whole process again with the exact same 40 employers ?

    Even a merry go round has only so many possibilities for a different ride.

  65. Lee


    If people are being forced to apply for 40 jobs per month, they only apply for the jobs that are advertised in their area and they are qualified to do, in rural areas they won’t be able to make their quota. They will have to falsify records.

    What Jay is saying is falsification is really easy. The government hasn’t thought this through at all and they won’t be putting the resources into monitoring whether or not every unemployed person really is applying for 40 jobs per month. But it really shouldn’t be putting people in a tailspin because for almost everyone it will be really easy to achieve the quota. Either they fake the data or they send letters to places that have not advertised vacancies.

    Sending 40 applications electronically wouldn’t take that long to do. How hard is it to create a form letter and keep your CV up to date? Keep an online email account and put the regular recipients in an address book. It would only take an hour or two per month to do it and that includes applying for genuine jobs.

  66. Dan Rowden

    Yes, it’s easy enough to do fake job applications. Most unemployed people are already doing it. However, this comes at a price. Unless you’re 100% willing to blame the system for forcing you to do it, and if you are a person of any reasonable measure of conscience, this behaviour takes a psychological toll. Along with all the other emotionally debilitating factors, it’s just one more nail in a person’s psychological coffin. And whilst in practical terms there will be no bureaucratic logistics in place to detect the “fraud”, it’s impossible to shake the constant, nagging feeling that you could get caught-out at any time. It generates even more unnecessary conflict in a unemployed person’s emotional strata, and God knows in our idiot Protestant Work Ethic, consumerist society, there’s already enough baggage that people are carrying. It’s absurd for Government, or anyone, to expect a person to endure that added psychological pressure.

    Of course, not all “cold” applying is equivalent to job application fakery, but a good proportion of it is going to be, of necessity.

  67. John921Fraser



    Advertised jobs ? ….. advertising jobs is something mostly rip off merchants do these days, because if an employer does advertise they get absolutely swamped by emails, phone calls and the more enterprising discover the workplace and cold call.

    The best thing the government could do would be to bring back one stop offices (not associated with Centrelink) where unemployed could get directed to TAFE and other institutions to further their education.

    Tie that into unemployment benefits ….. with strict "regimes" in those places, where those who seek to disrupt find themselves in trouble with Centrelink …… and help the unemployed to find where their talents lie, where they stand a better chance of finding employment better suited to their talents.

    In short help unemployed don't demonise them, don't whip them.

    Lee you haven't suggested anything, same as Jay, you are only putting forth a way of circumventing the Abbott gangs harsh treatment of the unemployed.

    But then Abbott has never had anything he was voted in because Murdoch ran a campaign for him.

  68. Lee

    No argument there, Dan. The government is comprised of dickheads who haven’t thought anything through. There’s a psychological toll associated with being forced to attend interviews too when you don’t have the appropriate qualifications for the job and then being made to look like a time waster in front of a panel. But I don’t have a problem with job seekers falsifying the data to collect their payments. They are being forced to do it by a government of incompetents. People who feel that it is wrong to falsify the data can compile it honestly by ‘cold’ applications instead. In all honesty, if someone really wants a job they will be applying ‘cold’ anyway some of the time.

  69. Lee


    If you were unemployed and there weren’t enough jobs being advertised in your area, what would you do? If you’re going to suggest applying to places that don’t advertise vacancies, then it’s really easy to achieve the 40 per month quota, isn’t it?

  70. Dan Rowden

    1.3 job applications a day. It doesn’t matter if you dont get one, its showing the effort. On the internet this can take 5 minutes.

    I’m sorry, but this is typical of the unrealistic nonsense being expressed in relation to the “ease” with which an unemployed person can apply for jobs – endlessly. It’s bullshit. You can’t do anything on the internet in 5 minutes except have a wank at a porn site, and I don’t recommend that if you’re using a public library computer. How much time have people expressing this sort of view spent at a library terminal? It takes 5 minutes just to get yourself online. Usually the connection speed is shitty. It takes time to browse a job search site, click the links and type what you have to. And unless you’re willing to apply to jobs randomly, including ones you’re not remotely qualified for or have any chance of getting – just to meet ludicrous “mutual obligation” requirements – it takes time. And guess what – whilst you’re taking all the time to meet those requirements, you’re losing time for applying for jobs that you really want and may have some chance of getting.

  71. Lee


    As for me not suggesting anything, what do you want me to do? I didn’t vote for these arseholes. I’m politically active and I’ve given my suggestions in various places that would create jobs. I lobby political parties with these suggestions. I have no power other than my vote to make them act upon these suggestions. Capitalism relies on a high level of unemployment to work. While people keep voting for capitalism, we’ll have a high level of unemployment. While people keep voting for the two major parties, nothing will change. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting the results to be different next time is just the epitome of stupidity.

  72. Michael Taylor

    Too true, Dan. Do people realise how long it takes to do an application for a job in the public service? (Bearing in mind too that that there will be a heap of unemployed public servants doing their darndest to get back in). I liken putting together an application for a PS job to doing a uni assignment – that’s how long they take to put together.

  73. Lee


    Public libraries have newspapers. It’s a lot faster to get the jobs out of the paper than it is to search online. If it looks like you can reasonably do it, apply for it. Don’t worry about asking questions until you get to the interview, because most applications won’t get that far anyway, so don’t waste time that doesn’t have to be wasted. Getting to the interview is going to provide the best opportunity to sell yourself and it’s good experience, helps get over nerves, etc. If it pays less than other jobs, it’s a lot easier to get another job when you’re already employed.

  74. Lee

    The vast majority of public service jobs are not advertised outside of the public service, so unemployed people won’t be spending a lot of time applying for them.

  75. Lee

    An increasing number of jobs these days require criminal history clearance and at the moment we’re looking at least at an 8 week waiting time. Applicants usually need to pay for the search themselves. How many job seekers obtain this before landing an actual job? It’s good for 3 years. We get a lot of applicants who find themselves another job while they are waiting for the results of the search, because they cannot afford to wait a few months to start earning.

  76. Dan Rowden


    Agreed. Any job application process that involves “selection criteria” is a frigging nightmare. Unless you’re familiar with the language and concepts, it’s very daunting.

  77. John921Fraser



    Stick with it mate.

    My criticism ( suggesting nothing) is meant more for people to suggest something more than ways to beat the "system".
    Kaye Lee has said it much better than I.
    In her Article "Hi Ho hi ho ….."

  78. Dan Rowden


    Capitalism relies on a high level of unemployment to work.

    This is a really important observation. You won’t find less than 4% unemployment in any capitalist system that resists Government involvement and that suppresses union power. Capitalism not merely generates such levels of unemployment, it requires it. The more laissez-faire the system, the more this will be true. This is why our attitude to the unemployed is so absurd and sinister. We seek to punish those who are necessary “victims” of the system. We want people who are created by the system to wear the blame for being a necessary consequence of that system. It’s utter madness.

  79. Lee

    The demonisation of the unemployed really pisses me off. My workplace is full of ignoramus, judgemental Liberal voters who think that all unemployed people are bludgers. I really feel like decking them when they start up.

    What really worries me is how bad do things have to get before the majority of Australians wake up and start demanding better service from their politicians? We will end up with frustrated young people becoming violent, which will only “prove” that the LNP’s original assessment of them was correct. Australia is no longer the country that our ancestors fought for. My grandfather would turn in his grave if he could see what we have become.

  80. Michael Taylor

    Dan, I applied for a job in the SA public service sometime in the mid 90s. There were 27 selection criteria to address. They wanted a half a page on each. Utterly ridiculous. Thankfully most departments have trimmed it down these days, with 6-10 being the norm. It’s still a heck of a lot of work putting an application together.

  81. Michael Taylor

    Lee, my own father said that he shot better blokes (in the war) than some of our politicians.

  82. Lee

    “Lee, my own father said that he shot better blokes (in the war) than some of our politicians.”

    Sadly, that wouldn’t be difficult. 🙁

  83. Michael Taylor

    I attended a Centrelink conference a few years ago and learnt this disturbing fact: 70% of jobs are filled from word of mouth, ie, from someone the employer knows or is recommended by a friend etc etc. how then can you apply for those jobs? Another fact: 90% of public service jobs are won by the person acting in the position. So if you apply for one of those jobs the chances of someone from the outside winning it are a lousy 10%. The odds are stacked against you.

  84. Lee

    “I attended a Centrelink conference a few years ago and learnt this disturbing fact: 70% of jobs are filled from word of mouth, ie, from someone the employer knows or is recommended by a friend etc etc. how then can you apply for those jobs?”

    This is why people cannot afford to be choosy and hold out for the job they want. They need to take whatever they can reasonably do as it provides an opportunity to prove themselves and to network, which they won’t get when they are unemployed.

    ” Another fact: 90% of public service jobs are won by the person acting in the position. So if you apply for one of those jobs the chances of someone from the outside winning it are a lousy 10%. The odds are stacked against you.”

    More facts – Even though all public service jobs are meant to be advertised, not all of them are. Only upper level management have employment contracts. Everyone else is on permanent tenure (a perk because salaries are usually lower than the equivalent position in the private sector). So someone acting in a position gets the permanent position because they happen to be in the right place at the right time. I’ve known a few that when they’ve gone on extended leave, a person acting in the position has done a much better job. But the permanent person cannot be replaced with a more competent person. In the private sector they would readily get rid of the person in that position and replace them with someone better.


    As a retired Centrelink worker in an ‘local office’ (I retired 2 years ago) some comments. Some are in reply to Jay. Centrelink DO NOT help you with CV’s. Your job network does. And even then, depending on what ‘stream ‘ you are it may just be a link to the ‘generic’ template on their job seeking website. Yes, people DID ‘cheat’ to comply with the number of jobs they were required to look for. But at least they got paid. And many Centrelink workers turned a blind eye, especially if we knew there was NO work locally, and the person had worked recently(in the last 6 months) on a casual or contract basis. The under 30’s will have to report to a job network with proof in the 6 months without pay , & as they won’t be getting Centrelink payments, as far as I can see it WILL be a JN. There are NOT sufficient jobs to go around, & we all (including the Government know this) I’m suggesting that the idea is that people just won’t claim a payment. How they will live of course, is the interesting point. Yes, ,many people do get word by ‘word of mouth’, especially older workers. Employers will HATE all the contacts jobseekers will have to make, particularly SBE’s . No doubt they will provide feedback (they did in the Howard years & it was reduced as so many SBE’s complained). In my 30 years of working at Centreline, I have seen NOTHING as punitive as what has been proposed in the budget. I would suggest that large slabs just won’t get through Senate.

  86. Dan Rowden


    The demonisation of the unemployed really pisses me off.

    The worst part of it is that it damages, in a manner than can only be characterised as cowardly, one of the most vulnerable groups in any country – the unemployable. Such people exist, more especially in the sort of competitive capitalist system in which we operate. We may all be equal under the law and we as a society may seek to equalise opportunity as best we can, but the truth is we are not all equal before God, so to speak. Humanity isn’t some homogeneous group whose membership shares a commonality in terms of intellectual and psychological construction. Intelligence levels vary, psychology varies. Some people are naturally more confident, assertive, extroverted and generally self-contained than others. Simplicity of mind, shyness and timidity, introversion and gauchness are as natural and legitimate a set of human characteristics as any other. Sadly, the way society tends to work, and certainly in the system we have, these traits are marginalising and make such people vulnerable. They don’t qualify for disability but are also largely incapable of competing in the employment marketplace.

    These are the people hardest hit by punitive bureaucracy and the ones least able to cope with its demands. It really is as though we want to punish them for the crime of not having been born with the traits and natural abilities and aptitudes that best serve the system. And that’s really it, isn’t it – the less you’re able to serve the “system”, the less value you have and the more you should be seen as an impediment to that system, and therefore made to suffer.

  87. jimhaz

    My guess is that they want to drive more people to religious charity and will offer more funds to such charities.

    It’s about improving the numbers of people that might be converted via forcing them to seek help and to put them in a mindframe be grateful for that help.

    Just look at how many key LNP players are “hard Christians”.

    Howard via the demise of the CES had already given the Christians a multi-billion dollar per annum income stream via unemployment agencies. Forcing them to utilise to these agencies more often to seek jobs to stay on the dole will probably double this.

    Do not doubt that these people are that corrupt – they are the worst of the LNP and we have already seen for 20-30 years now how both major parties primary goal is to sell and privatise income earning services and assets so that private hands can benefit from the freed market.

  88. jimhaz

    People from private industry and contracted employment have already crippled the public service.
    They tend to be total YESMEN which leads to quite extensive waste.

    A lot of them come from big orgs where throwing money at things to make it work and keeping the bosses happy by crawling is the whole game. They introduce a lot of change for change sake (to make them look innovative) and try and put in things that work under the far more managerially simple, private industry, but don’t work with any efficiency in the public service as they are generally centralised autocratic systems.

    Public servants used to be penny pinchers – no more, we throw millions at private companies to do low quality work. The corporate knowledge in how to do things properly and what is worthwhile to do or not, has gone.

  89. Lee

    “These are the people hardest hit by punitive bureaucracy and the ones least able to cope with its demands. It really is as though we want to punish them for the crime of not having been born with the traits and natural abilities and aptitudes that best serve the system. And that’s really it, isn’t it – the less you’re able to serve the “system”, the less value you have and the more you should be seen as an impediment to that system, and therefore made to suffer.”


    They’re not even trying to get the best out of these people. Asperger’s is really close to my heart and a case in point. Something like 85% of people with AS are unemployed. Many don’t have the right qualities to get past an interview. But this population includes some very gifted people such as Bill Gates, Temple Grandin, Susan Boyle. Some very gifted people in our history are suspected of having AS too – Albert Einstein, Alfred Hitchcock, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Wolfgang Mozart, Thomas Edison.
    Every member of society has something to contribute if given a chance.

  90. Dan Rowden


    Every member of society has something to contribute if given a chance.

    Indeed, but the more narrow and economically filtered and myopic the lens of that social vision, the less that such people will be considered, because it will deemed economically inefficient to expend effort on them if the result isn’t “profitable”. And for callous capitalists the happiness and dignity of persons such as those on the Autism spectrum don’t fall into the scope of what it deemed “profit”.

  91. trevor

    Great Article this one,

    But reason will always be trumped by three word slogans and divisive slum lord politics that are the daily fare of this one dimensional three word sloganeering globalised embarrassment of a PM.

    If anyone wants any proof that three word sloganeering and slum lord politics does the trick you only have to look to the Election of Abbott the Thug.

    Export Abbott not Refugees.

  92. Kathy Sutherland

    To those who are saying how quick and easy it is to apply for jobs online, have you ever tried it? Dan has pointed out some of the problems. You often only get limited time on a computer in the library, and more often than not the person in front of you is running over time! In rural areas, there are branch libraries/mobile libraries at best and many of those are not even connected to the Internet – no NBN, remember?

    People are making an awful lot of assumptions, too. Not everyone can use a computer with ease, especially when they’ve been brought up in the country, with little if any Internet access. Is somebody going to give them lessons in how to keep their CV on a flash drive?

    This requirement of Abbott’s is a great way to humiliate people!

  93. Lee

    Oh seriously Kathy, I grew up in the country 40+ years ago and we learned how to use computers at school. What young person these days hasn’t learned how to use the internet and save files on portable media?

    And so what if it takes them a whole day to send 40 applications? Are you seriously suggesting that an unemployed person doesn’t have time to do it?

  94. corvus boreus

    The thing for me is that the newly and blamelessly unemployed, having journeyed into town and used the library internet to bodgy up applications for the 40 jobs that are probably either unsuitable, competitively coveted, or, as you said, non-existent, the aspirant welfare recipient can then go home having fulfilled their one-way obligation, knowing that they have taken the first of multiple steps toward getting some money for food and rent in 180 days time, if they can keep off the grog and drugs in the meantime.
    Or there’s always crime as an interim, with the bonus that imprisonment can ease the burden of self-provision without funds.
    Or the army, flush at the moment,is hiring, and not too choosy.
    Manufacturing cannon fodder, or is my mind just hastily nasty in it’s conclusions?

  95. Lee

    Yeah my bad, Corvus. People who live in the country should be exempt from looking for employment. Hell, there probably isn’t even electricity more than 50 km inland. How dare we expect them to spend one day out of 30/31 applying for jobs.

  96. corvus boreus

    They already have a major incentive to seek employment, it’s called a living wage.
    I am referring to the removal of any financial safety net for 6 months, leaving charity, crime, or enforced “choices”.
    The government is seeking to place all onus of obligation on the unemployed, and withdrawing all it’s own responsibilities.

  97. Lee

    Yes I’m aware of that Corvus and the government is being very unreasonable. I understand that young people are being forced to play a silly game. But the complaints about having to apply for 40 jobs per month are just as ludicrous. If I was out of work I’d be looking for jobs for every single day. I might not find employment but I guarantee it wouldn’t take me long to clock up my monthly quota of applications and then some, either on foot or online. How many young people genuinely have no access to the internet via a public library, or family or friends? Rural communities are frequently very good at rallying behind members of their community who are doing it tough.

  98. corvus boreus

    Lee, big picture, it would not be a “silly game” to be 6 months without payment or concessions, in circumstances without liquidity, assets, support, or accommodation, which, whilst not the norm, is the reality for some.
    I, you will hopefully note, am not railing against the unfairness of 40 job applications, I am pissed off that the government is shunning helping vulnerable people for half a year and turning their backs on the wider consequences of their neglect upon society.
    People without hope become desperate.
    Desperate people become dangerous.

  99. Lee

    “I am pissed off that the government is shunning helping vulnerable people for half a year and turning their backs on the wider consequences of their neglect upon society.”

    So am I. I worry about what our society will become when this comes to pass. I am also ashamed that so many Australians who are currently employed and living on easy street don’t actually care that people will be without incomes for 6 months.

  100. Mary

    Lee maybe you should live in regional or very small country town for a time, because you have no idea, a lot of typing about something you obviously know nothing about, regional areas and the unemployed, stick to what you know, not speculation on people you no nothing about !

  101. Lee

    Mary, speaking of speculation on people you know nothing about, I lived for over 20 years in a regional area. Most of my family were born in and still live in regional areas.

  102. Lee

    And i should add, I moved away from that regional area to find employment. So did my brother.

  103. Mary

    Not everybody has that option, you are still siting in judgment , Lee you are self righteous indeed.

  104. Lee

    Mary you know nothing about me or my experiences, nor those of my family members. I’m very aware that not everyone can move away to find employment and I have immediate family members and friends who have been unemployed for a long time. I don’t recall that I have ever said or even thought that finding a job is easy and i know that there are more unemployed people than there are advertised vacancies. So thank you for jumping to conclusions in ignorance. Take your own advice and stop judging me.


    So as I read it, Lee, you seen to be in agreement with many of the things that this post is about. Your concern though is that it is not onerous for those unemployed, even though they won’t get paid to apply for 40 jobs per month. “ Mutual Obligation’ a tern coined by the LNP in 1988 does imply that both parties are participating. In this case the Abbot Govt isn’t. So it’s not actually ‘mutual” . And since Centrelink won’t be paying these people, it will be up to the Job Network to monitor. The ‘ramp up’ for applying for work happened under Howard to, & within a few months was reduced. This is because so many Small Business were swamped with applications that they complained to their Federal MP”s & the large number of job seeking contacts were dropped. In reality, the LNP is hoping that many will get discouraged & not bother to apply. Ok if you have a family to support you. But it means that many families will just get poorer as a result. And we all acknowledge that for some with NO support, the consequences are horrendous.

  106. Kaye Lee

    I would also like to point out the psychological impact of continual rejection. Not everyone is a strong person. The effect this can have on their sense of self-worth can be devastating for young people who are yet to enter the workforce and see no way forward. I cannot imagine the desperation they will feel with no income, no prospect of a job, yet having to fill in endless forms – something that can be very daunting for those with limited literary skills.

    Our youth are our future and we are condemning a generation with this government’s total abrogation of their responsibilities to the community. They seem to be able to find plenty of money for anything to do with defence and war games, but not to protect and help our vulnerable. I do not want my taxes spent on guns.

  107. Diannaart


    Couldn’t get past pay-wall to read article.

    Just another issue low income people have is that not all internet sites give free access any more. Seems to me there are deliberate hurdles to retain people as so-called “leaners” rather than providing support, punishing by ripping away support for 6 months or possibly more.

  108. John921Fraser


    If using Google you can clear your Browser "History" when you have reached the Limit … this will reset the Limit to zero, this is what I have to do whenever I read 2 Articles in Murdochs rag.
    I am using Google and have added this to my Extensions :
    It appears this Extension allows me to read any number of Articles and visit all Fairfax sites as often as I like.

  109. Lee

    “So as I read it, Lee, you seen to be in agreement with many of the things that this post is about. Your concern though is that it is not onerous for those unemployed, even though they won’t get paid to apply for 40 jobs per month. ”

    Not all unemployed people will have the resources to be able to apply for 40 jobs per month. Some won’t have families who can help out. or some will live in remote areas and access to seek work either in person or online will be restricted. But most will have access to those resources one way or another. The unemployed people I know and have known who are determined to find work are already applying for more than 40 jobs per month without anyone forcing them to do it.

    It is wrong for the government to remove welfare from unemployed people for six months of the year, there’s no two ways about that. But are you saying that people should not be expected to look for work unless they are being paid to do so? People who are not willing to help themselves really don’t get very far in life. If lack of income prevents them from trying to find a job at all, how will they ever cope raising a family or dealing with any of the other stresses normally found in life? For most of us life isn’t easy and someone who expects others to do everything for them is going to be very disappointed.

  110. Lee

    Thanks John. When I hit the limit on Fairfax sites, I google words in the title of the article. I can read them if I access them from google, but not if I try to access them from the Fairfax site.

  111. Dan Rowden

    For those using Chrome and wanting to read Fairfax articles, particularly SMH, just open the page in an “incognito” window and you’re fine. i.e. right click a link and select “open link in incognito window”. Bingo.

  112. Dion Giles

    Right on, Kaye. A government that fuels unemployment by itself shedding labour has a moral (dirty word to Abbott mafia I know) responsibility to allocate some of the saved funds to beefing up the public service of assisting people to link with potential employers who may want labour. Self-righteous debates over what unemployed people should be doing daily to chase after non-existent jobs are mere competitions to shift the responsibility to the victims of unemployment. Any suggestions about measures that officialdom, not the victims, can take to make the links that can lead to a job?

    As for a DD, the Libs incurred a payback debt in 1975 when they used the Senate to spill an elected government in mid-term. The debt remains unpaid.


    No, Lee. I don’t think that they should ONLY look for work when they are being paid (unemployment benefits) .BUT not paying them is not exactly a big incentive to seek work. It costs money to look for work. And those being targetted are under 30, but NOT have worked, so the group they “after ’ are education leavers, who are younger & less likely to have skills to jump through all the hoops. Which means that they will end up being kept by their families (if they are lucky enough to have a family who will/is able to do that). And as I pointed out, the whole idea of increased job seeking goals & things like WFD, which are part of the LNP’s ‘Mutual Obligation’ mantra, which only now has obligations on one side.

  114. Kathy Sutherland

    Lee, it’s great that you grew up in the country with those opportunities. I certainly didn’t, and many of today’s young people still don’t. For one thing, there are still so many remote parts of Australia that have either no or very poor Internet connection.

    Time is not always the major issue (although if you live in the back of beyond and have to catch one of the irregular busses to get into town to the library which is only open 3 days a week and has a dodgy internet connection, it is indeed a major concern.)

    I’m not saying that unemployed people should give up looking for jobs because it’s difficult: I’m saying that for many the requirement to apply for 40 jobs per month is not possible! Also, it costs money, which is tricky if you have none.

  115. Lee

    “I’m saying that for many the requirement to apply for 40 jobs per month is not possible! ”

    Mmm.. yeah Kathy, i do believe I’ve already acknowledged that. I distinctly remember posting that i have no objection to people faking the data because for some people it will be impossible to apply for 40 jobs per month. Thanks for the feedback.

  116. Florence nee Fed up

    One should condemn the 40 job applications as just being plain stupid. The government must know, there is no way, in most areas, that one would find that many jobs will only be going through their process, knowing what one is doing, is a complete waste of time.

    It is meant as punishment, nothing more. Maybe also to give the impression, there are plenty of jobs out there, that these people ignore.

    One needs to keep in mind, a useless process, that those in the department must supervise. Time would be better spent, actually assisting these people, not making lives harder.

    There is no evidence to suggest, even a small minority are ripping off the system. All evidence seem to in dictate that their is a lack of availability of entry level jobs for young people. Yes, employers are demanding, as their right, fully experience workers. Do not see it as their responsibility to train workers in any way.

    The 40 job applications is put in as a diversion from the real issues. Looking at the numbers of comments here, it is working.

    Responsibility and accountability for the problem is being transferred from employers and government, back onto the unemployed.

  117. Lee

    “Time is not always the major issue (although if you live in the back of beyond and have to catch one of the irregular busses to get into town to the library which is only open 3 days a week and has a dodgy internet connection, it is indeed a major concern.)”

    @ Kathy,

    How does someone who lives in the back of beyond and relies on an irregular bus to get into town expect to get to work each day?

  118. Kathy Sutherland

    Dunno. It’s a bit circular, isn’t it?

  119. Lee

    “THE number of dole recipients getting away with refusing to work has almost tripled in the past three years.”

    “But in the first six months of the 2013-14 financial year, 536,491 instances of noncompliance were already identified, with 26,698 people getting maximum 8 week nonpayment penalties, and 62 per cent of these being waived.”

  120. Dan Rowden


    But enforcing programs that provide some training, some experience…to me makes a lot of sense.

    Have you ever had to do a basic job training course?

  121. Lee

    “True there’s never a job for everyone, but that’s not the point.”

    Well it actually is the point. What is the point of forcing everyone to submit 40 applications per month, no matter how easy it is to do, when there simply are not enough jobs to go around? Employers are reluctant to employ people who are unemployed, especially those who have been unemployed a long time. Many don’t advertise their vacancies partly because they prefer to fill them with people who are already employed.

  122. Caitlin b

    In my last job it was part of my job to “weed through” job applications. I was told to spend not more than 30 seconds to make this decision who would get the chance to have the resume read by a relevant staffer or manager. Out of about 300 applications maybe 10 would be read and 2-3 given interviews. If applicants didn’t hound us they didn’t get a chance. It’s very hard to get out of the application stage at the moment

  123. Dan Rowden


    People seem to be resigned to the fact they are incapable and its not their fault, as an excuse.

    What’s your excuse for your torturous syntax?

  124. Kaye Lee

    How about we work on the self esteem of these people who may have decided they are “incapable”. Who told them that? We are all capable of making a contribution. We so love to blame in this country. Has anyone ever thought about looking at what has happened in these people’s lives that even they feel they are unemployable? Do you consider how hard it is to get knocked back continually before you have a developed ego (is that ever?)

  125. Florence nee Fedup

    It might surprise some, that all do not fly through job interviews with ease. There are many, that fear every interview they put themselves through, This can even occur, when one knows they have the skills necessary, and have had a lifetime, of keeping every job, they have ever had.

    Yes, the fear can border on one being incapable of attending the interview. Yes, another fact is, they never interview well.

    These are not excuses but sad facts of life for many.

    Going to a interview can be a traumatic experience for may.

  126. Florence nee Fedup

    When we had a CES it was easy. They just sent you off to the job,

  127. Florence nee Fedup

    I am not sure, that when we look at this group, that lack of jobs is the problems. I suspect it is lack of employers unwilling to take entry level applications. Unwilling to take those without experience. Does not only apply to young school leavers, but also new university graduates,

  128. DanDark

    My son went for an interview for an apprentice chefs job at local country club at start of year
    He said when he got home. ” mum I was so nervous I couldn’t speak”
    He said the boss said to him “that’s the shortest interview he had ever conducted”
    The boss bloke did pick up on his nerves, and did most of the talking,

    He got a trial in the kitchen for a day, they had him grating chocolate for over an hour on a small hand grater, I said “what the, that’s just ridiculous” my friend who worked in same kitchen said, ” that’s bullshit they made you do that by hand” he was pipped at the post, 5 kids went for job, and was told he just missed out on job came second in the race, because he is so shy I feel, not because of his work ethic, he did everything he was told, as was told, but still lost, it’s demeaning for our young people.

  129. DanDark

    He also did not get a cent for the days work, it cost us money to buy appropriate shoes, and black pants and shirt $80 and that was on the cheap, so we lost all round, Thanks Australia, what a great country…Not

  130. Kathy Sutherland

    Florence nee Fedup, you’re absolutely correct. I’m, unfortunately, one of those view interviews with not trepidation, but terror. That’s cettainly not the employer’s problem, but my own lack of confidence. As a result, I’ve spent most of my career lurching from contract to contract, doing relief work and filling in. Would have preferred a permanent position but at least I had work in my profession. And at least I knew I had a chance of getting the job.

    I can’t imagine how it would be for people who are required to apply for jobs when they know they don’t have a hope. So humiliating and soul-destroying! And many long- term unemployed are clinically depressed. Failure after failure will make it worse.

  131. Florence nee Fedup

    Kathy, sadly it does not get better with age or experience. Nothing to do with our concept of our ability. We would not be applying if we believe we could not do the job.

    Kathy, have you noticed, among friends or people you know, there are some that can go out any day and come back with a job, Yes, they are very able in selling themselves. Some might even say, at bullshit. Have you also notice, how many of these same people, quickly move on to a new job. Never stay long in any. Could it be , the bullshit des not live to reality in the work place. Kathy, I suspect, you and I know that is the case.

    I was married to a person, that was unemployable. Yes did get jobs, but a danger to all others in the workplace. Only time I had any security, was when we moved on to the disability pension., He was far from lazy. Forever on the go.

    If there arte no entry level jobs available for these people, how fair is to to blame them for their failure to get jobs.

    One thing would have helped, has been dumped by this government. Yes, being able to stay at school, and beginning apprenticeship. This allows the child to become familiar with the workplace. Even allow employers to see them, away from job interviews situation, Yes, a chance the bosses to see these kids, while at school. To see their abilities, yes and their blemishes.

    Sending one out for compulsory 40 job applications means little. Puts unnecessary pressure o9n Centrelink, when their time could be better spent helping the kid.

  132. Florence nee Fedup

    Yes, I suspect one would rather live with the job dile bludger, than admit, I am to big a coward, to ask for a job.

  133. DanDark

    I just find it easier to employ him, he has landscaped the front garden, painted the house almost, he is an accomplished cook, he mows all the lawns, does the weeding, looks after the veggie patch, he laid down new decking on front and back verandas, he looks after his 8 yr old little sister when I work, and I have taught him all of this, and he is only 19, I work to pay him to help me and make our home better, so we get the profit when I sell, not some fat cat landlord,
    But yes seems he is unemployable to other employees, he is my saving grace, their loss, my gain 🙂

  134. Florence nee Fedup

    I would like to point to out that returning tp work, did not make Sense unless there where family members available.

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