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Turnbull Escalates War on the Poor

Unemployed and underemployed Australians can be issued with on-the-spot fines by privately owned job agencies under a tough new Government proposal, writes Owen Bennett.

Next month the Turnbull Government will be asking the Senate to support one of the most devastating attacks launched against poor and vulnerable Australians in recent memory. The Bill – entitled Social Security Legislation Amendment (Further Strengthening Job Seeker Compliance) Bill 2015 – proposes to give privately run job agencies unprecedented new powers to financially penalize unemployed and underemployed Australians. If passed the fines will come into effect on 1 July 2016.

Under the proposal, Australians receiving the dole can be fined 10% of their income support – increasing by 10% each day until they ‘reengage’ – if they:

  • Fail to sign a job plan at their first job agency appointment; or
  • Are found by their job agency to have behaved inappropriately at an appointment (“inappropriate behavior” is defined as acting in a manner “such that the purpose of the appointment is not achieved”); or
  • Fail to attend a Work for the Dole or Training exercise without an excuse deemed reasonable by the job agency.

All fines (roughly $55.00) will be deducted immediately. Unemployed Australians who feel they have been unfairly fined will be required to go through Centrelink’s arduous appeals process to get their money back – a procedure that can take up to four months.

This means that even if an unemployed worker successfully appeals against a fine – and thousands do every year – they will still be forced to endure up to four months without a significant portion of their income support.  As privately run job agencies can effectively impose these financial penalties on unemployed workers before having to provide any concrete proof, the Coalition’s proposal gives privately owned job agencies the power of life and death over unemployed workers.

With the dole already $391.00 below the poverty line according to the Melbourne Institute, for many unemployed workers a 10% deduction of their income support will place them in severe financial distress. If this proposal is passed next month, unemployed Australians will be just one unfair penalty away from extreme poverty and even homelessness

The dole has already been proven to be not enough to live on. A recent report showed that one in four people on the dole were forced to beg on the streets for more than a year, while 6 in 10 were required to approach a charity for help. Escaping this poverty-trap has become almost impossible for unemployed Australians – according to official government figures there are 11 job seekers competing for each vacancy, even more when you consider low-skill jobs.

With unemployment already a one-way ticket to poverty for many Australians, why is the Turnbull Government introducing a bill that will make it considerably harder for unemployed workers to survive?

To answer this question, it is necessary to understand the employment services industry.  Comprised of for-profit and not-for-profit companies ranging from billion-dollar corporations like Max Employment to charities like the Salvation Army, the employment services industry has become a highly lucrative business.

Under the Coalition Government’s 4-year $6.8 billion Jobactive program, Government payments to employment services are tied to a variety of ‘jobseeker outcomes’. The most efficient way for job agencies to maximize outcome payments is to ensure that their unemployed ‘caseload’ are, at a bare minimum, compliant with appointments and activities. Clearly the employment services industry has a financial interest in obtaining increased powers to penalize the unemployed.

With these perverse financial incentives already firmly in play, there are a number of well-documented cases of job agencies bullying unemployed workers. Every day, the Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union receives new cases of Australians being bullied into unfair activities or appointments by money-hungry job agencies.

Even if unemployed workers are able to muster up the courage to demand that their rights be recognized, job agencies use the threat of sanctions to ensure compliance. With the continued failure of the Department of Employment to effectively regulate the industry and bring bullying job agencies into line, unemployed workers have nowhere to go. This has created a culture of fear and intimidation throughout the employment service industry.

By proposing that job agencies should be given new unprecedented powers to financially penalize unemployed workers, the Turnbull Government is sending a clear message to the employment services industry that these tactics are not only acceptable but should be intensified.

If you have been unfairly fined by your job agency, join the Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union legal challenge against this unfair compliance system by contacting them on You can also participate in the AUWU’s Fight the Fine campaign against this bill.  Visit the AUWU’s Facebook page for more info.

Owen Bennett is the president of the Australian Unemployed Workers Union, an organisation dedicated to fighting for the rights and dignity of the unemployed.

He is also writing his Ph.D. thesis on the unemployment services industry.



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  1. babyjewels10

    No! Private enterprise MUST NOT be allowed to issue fines to the unemployed. Not now, not ever! Especially the lying, thieving “job agencies” who have the current contracts with this criminal government.

  2. Keitha Granville

    the job agencies are supposed to help people find work. THEY DON’T. They simply tick off the box each month to show you have “complied” with the rules to get your allowance. It’s a total shambles, a disgrace, an excuse for private companies to be giving vast swathes of taxpayer’s money to NOT help the unemployed.
    And now they can do the dirty work for the government in its long campaign of disenfranchising the vulnerable.

  3. mars08

    Here’s an idea… rather than looking for another way of punishing and marginalising the unemployed… what about getting serious about creating some f*cking proper, long-term jobs?!!!?!?!

  4. mark

    if this bill passes,we can finally say the fair go is gone for good. A millionaire picking on the poorest,how low can you go.mark

  5. Peter F

    I live near a small country town ( under 5000) with at least four of these job agencies. there are basically no jobs, these agencies being the major business in town. The whole thing is a scam on the Australian people.

  6. John Hermann

    Employment agencies should not be owned and operated by the private sector. In regard to the Turnbull government, I sense that the honeymoon period for them is well and truly over. The Australian economy is deteriorating on several fronts, and it is by no means certain that they will be re-elected. The opinion polls are also beginning to move against them, and for this reason they would be foolish to go to an early election.

  7. Matters Not

    Increasingly in the future, there won’t be enough ‘jobs’ (as we have historically understood same) for those who want one and hopefully will never get one.

    This lack of ‘jobs’ problem, as expressed in the concept of ‘unemployment’ is very easily solved. Everyone can have a ‘job’ and the ‘unemployment’ problem can be confined to the dustbin of history if we undertake take some very simple actions. Indeed, ‘supply’ can rapidly exceed ‘demand’ if we simply ban ‘technology’, broadly defined.

    Here’s how. An instant solution. From tomorrow, ban the use of ‘bulldozers’, ‘computers’, ‘electric fans’, and the like. (The ‘possibilities’ are almost endless. Just use your imagination re the banning of any ‘labour saving’ devices.)

    The ‘demand’ will still be there. People will still want to ‘dig holes’, ‘clear land’ and construct buildings. People will still want to be ‘cooled. Think of the number of people who will need to be employed to wave fans so that ‘cooling’ can still be provided.

    Enough of this ‘need for jobs’ nonsense, particularly in the long term. All sides of politics are locked in the past. And it’s a ‘past’, that’s exactly that. It’s the ‘past’.

    Time for a new vision!

  8. mars08

    Is the government looking at this plan as a way to coerce some unemployed people into giving up the search for work? Would that make the unemployment numbers look better?

  9. susan

    Howard privatised poor people and young people years ago. Has anyone studied the actual cost benefits of this privatisation or published the amount of tax paid by these job providers? I think there should be no government subsidies given to any church and if a church engages in commercial activities such as job providing, then they should pay tax.

  10. Wayne Turner

    The job network providers who have been found to commit fraud – These Libs are a sick joke. Giving more power to an industry that have proven to be full of rorters.

    When are the big business tax evaders going to be fined for dodging tax?

    This is class warfare Liberal party style.

  11. margcal

    Australia: the Fascist State.

    >> Comprised of for-profit and not-for-profit companies ranging from billion-dollar corporations like Max Employment to charities like the Salvation Army, the employment services industry has become a highly lucrative business.

    Lest anyone think you’d be OK with a charity job network, don’t be fooled.

    A friend worked there at the time, couldn’t get out quickly enough. There was no confusion. She was forever complaining about the stress she (and all staff) was under, being pressured because she was complying with the legislation, not doing her work the fast-buck Salvo way.
    Whether they were equally brutal to job seekers I don’t know in one sense but in another they weren’t being helped into long term employment, just short term contracts so they could be churned through again and again, repeat customers, benefiting the organisation with repeated government subsidies.

    I was told the figure of $14m having to be repaid but $9m was reported in the press.
    It was kept very quiet. The Salvos got their name buried amongst other rorters.

  12. Wayne Turner

    “Here’s an idea… rather than looking for another way of punishing and marginalising the unemployed… what about getting serious about creating some f*cking proper, long-term jobs?!!!?!?!” – 100% SPOT ON.

    Of course these LYING & FAILING LIBS are more interested in blaming the unemployed,and doing NOTHING to create long term secure jobs.

  13. musicinhills

    Take a search, and take a look at what Stephen Hawking has had to say.
    I do keep harping on about slavery, aye! and i am not going to stop!
    because that is the ultimate aim of the wealthy.

  14. nickthiwerspoon

    What an utterly vile government

  15. Matters Not

    Wayne Turner said:

    doing NOTHING to create long term secure jobs.

    Over to you Wayne. What type of long term secure jobs do you envisage? Given that Doctors, Dentists, Accountants and (especially) Lawyers (examples only) are about to be displaced in the coming ‘technological’ world..

    By the way Wayne, it appears you are now doing your own typing. In my day, it was all done in the typing pool.

    Do we want to go back to that?

    Why even ‘typos’ are corrected these days. Again ‘labour’ is displaced. Jobs gone and all that.

  16. Greg

    My daughter was working part time, and applied for youth allowance to boost her income, to help make ends meet. Soon after she was contacted by an “employment assistance provider”. They consistently made appointments on the days she was rostered on, which she wouldn’t be able to attend. When she managed to get extra hours, and was no longer getting an allowance, they contacted her employer each week. She nearly lost her job because of the harassment.

    After about 3 months it finally eased, to a fortnightly call to make sure they knew she was working and where. Took about 12 months before they finally left her alone.

    I know what happened, it happens every time someone who is already working gets referred to these places. They work for “terminating events” that’s when they get their big money. The company took credit for getting her the job, had to record a certain number of contacts with the employer and my daughter, after three months she was put into a “monitoring” or “supported work placement” box, and after twelve months of doing nothing they were able to close the record as a successful job found “terminating event”.

    If they had allowed these companies to issue fines, my daughter would have received no income support when she needed it, because she would put working ahead of attending pointless interviews.

  17. Andrew Nicholls

    I want to talk about one of the under recognised factors in job recruitment.
    The first issue is many companies now use software programmes to sort resumes which have filters and yes you probably guessed the first filter set is to sort resumes by age. Online applications use all kinds of tricks to get your date of birth such as a small asterisk denoting a mandatory entry which prevents the application from progressing until completed.
    The second issue is the American business model that focuses on risk management and loss prevention. Older workers are more prone to health problems and injuries. I have seen middle-aged people in the resources sector resorting to dyeing their hair or taking steroids.
    All this is because many companies expect elder workers to be able to work like they are 20 years old and do not want anything to affect productivity.
    Something else to consider is the ethos of military training. The purpose of drills in the army is discipline to get people to act cohesively to an order without question. This mentality is something that now exists in many jobs. Do not ask questions because you are stopping productivity.
    People who are perceived to prevent productivity by asking questions and not obeying blindly, find it difficult to procure new jobs because of employment management systems such as ERMS. Many elderly workers find themselves supervised by kids wth limited experience who only understand the hard way of doing a task, resenting the benefits of age and wisdom.
    These employment systems often require you to complete a five years history of previous work. Often a person is not considered for a role unless they have spent five continuous years in the particular job position.
    People spend small fortunes being retrained only to find they are defeated by not having five years in the role. The only people making money out of it are training organisations and the quality of training does not enable a person to walk into a position and immediately be capable of performing the tasks required.
    The last thing I wish to put forward is the problem of being overqualified. Again companies look at the skill sets and consider the position is a transition to better and bigger things in life. If they have to recruit another employee because a person has moved into a better job, this is considered as a loss of income.
    I find the nature of work has changed from the days when you applied, turned up for an interview and there and then was evaluated. In many cases, all it takes is one previous employer or supervisor to make a negative comment about you and that is enough to reject an applicant. There are lots of reasons why people do not get on at work. One I faced a lot was the fact I did not need to get half drunk and relive the day with people I worked with after work of a night

  18. Adam R

    I love this proposal. I despise having to fund lowlife scum who deliberately avoid working so I have to put bread and butter on their table as a tax payer. Maybe this will make these people finally get off thier ass and work!

    What an utterly ignorant comment. Who are these “low life scum” you refer to? Are they members of your family, or your neighbours? Is this a thinly veiled attack on someone you dislike so intensely that you are blinded to real hardship among the unemployed? For the record, your tax dollars pay for nothing.

  19. Not On

    I read of an instance where a fellow was left alone to look for jobs on the network provider’s computer. Whilst doing so he had earphones in listening to music that no-one else could hear. The young ones these days all listen to music while they are doing other things. He was told that he was now marked down as committing “inappropriate behaviour” and would be reported to Centrelink to have his benefit affected. He was given no warning by the network provider that earphones were not permitted and had to attend a number of meetings with Centrelink to learn how to ‘behave’ properly. This is madness.

  20. ladysappho

    Anyone who thinks this is a good idea (and anyone who doesn’t but doesn’t quite know why) should be forced to watch this Four Corners report on rampant fraud and bad faith in those self-same private job agencies.

  21. Michael Taylor

    Adam R, is that your opinion of ALL unemployed people?

  22. Mr Magoo

    I tried to go on Centrelink they made it difficult, I had to wait, and then they made me come in to prove my identity, I brought everything needed. And all manner of id and a passport. I asked repeatedly at the visit, “are you sure you have everything”. They said they did. Then I got a letter back saying I didn’t provide sufficient proof of identity. And my claim would be rejected.

    I gave up. I haven’t been on Centrelink for over a year, but still unemployed. I just save every penny and not go out. I give cheap gifts at weddings and people know that I’m jobfree. They don’t care. I have more pride than to go and beg every few days for money, more pride than to run down the road and scrape together all my efforts in job hunting and present them like a good little boy.

    As an aside, has anyone heard of Universal Basic Income? The Huffington post has a good explanation. Basic Income is being introduced around the world, in Europe and the US. And it has MANY positive benefits in an age where automation is rising and jobs are becoming scarce.

  23. Lee

    @Adam R – It is a well known fact that for capitalism to work, there has to be a high level of unemployment. The number of unemployed people in Australia outnumber advertised job vacancies by about 7:1. The Liberal government has been allowing migrants to come here on 457 visas to fill jobs that are not even advertised to Australians. People can’t work when there aren’t any jobs suitable for them. I also suggest that you watch the Four Corners episode above and see how these job agencies are treating the unemployed and rorting millions of dollars from the government for doing nothing by falsifying signatures of unemployed people.

  24. Garry Button

    I’d say those people who fine you will need some serious protection. I can just imagine all the bashings that will take place.

  25. John L

    “Job” agencies have nothing to do with jobs and its just management of the unemployed, which excludes providing jobs.

    I wonder actually if a job seeker can sue a job agency for not providing them a job. After all that is the purpose of the job agencies, to help people get jobs. So if you are signed up with one of them and they don’t have jobs on offer, they have failed! They shouldn’t be getting funding for failing to do their job. Give the agencies a $55 fine everyday they fail to help someone into a new job.

    I don’t believe the gov actually knows what to do to create more jobs, yet enough creating 800,000 jobs for all the unemployed people. We should be looking at job guarantee closely, it could be the only real option in the near future when Automation hits every industry and gets in high gear.

    The way forward is to look back at the industries we have now which can employ large amount of people, mainly any service sector, hospitality and tourism is a huge area and it can even be twice as big. So why not spend more money into it creating bigger and better attractions, spend more promoting it overseas, spend more building it into a 24 hr entertainment industry, here’s looking at you Sydney and QLD lockout laws.

    How about the gov admits it got it wrong on technology and renewable energy sectors and start building a world class NBN to catch up to other countries testing 1000Mbps, not the promised 25. The gov should start embracing solar/tide/thermal energy. At the very least, not because its better for the environment but for job growth, as simple as that.

    As for how our tax money is spent! Well, some people don’t want it spent to help the unemployed “aka bludgers to some people, mainly right wing”. I don’t tax money spent on private schools, or helping any religious organisation, or even wasting it on job agencies. But I guess, everyone has their own way of thinking how it should be spent.

  26. paul walter

    It’s always been a vicious system and has been consciously worsened over time, but this is the sort of stuff under Turnbull that had the public screaming in anger last year with Abbott.

    No doubt the Greens and Labor will cooperate to hammer it down, haw, haw..

  27. Shame

    This is barbaric treatment of the unemployed. Yes there are some out there that roam the street all day every day begging people for money but there are real genuine case out there and these people need to be treated with respect. This government is nothing more than shameful and a shame on all Australian who are out of work in same cases through policies sent down by this barbaric government. They can give literally millions of taxpayer dollars to barbaric countries such as Indonesia who use this money to kill thousand upon thousand of Papuan New Guineans than look after our own. What is this country coming to? Obviously none of these stinking politicians have ever been I a situation where they have had to be forced into a Centrelink office or had to fill out one of their pathetic forms to see just how degrading it is to be treated with no respect at all!

  28. gee

    if the objective of paying these agencies is to find jobs for their clients, and they continuously fail to accomplish this, the client should be able to fine the agency 10% of its income, per day, for its failure. seems fair.

  29. Conservatives Rule

    Adam R is spot on about these dole bludgers. They need to get off their arse and get a job. This is Cool Jazz piano to my ears Adam Ru baby.

  30. Wayne Turner

    To BOTH Adam R & Conservative Rule:-

    There are more unemployed people than jobs vacant. So it is NOT as simple,as you claim.

    Also,thank you (ie: You are both wrong) both for using the logical fallacy: “The Just World Fallacy” – See link. Basically, the world is NOT “black and white” and is “complex”.People do NOT always get what they deserve,and we do NOT live in a “just world”.

    Finally,giving more power to proven rorters (the job network providers) is wrong and dangerous because they are proven NOT to be trusted.

  31. Sam_w

    Government chooses the unemployment rate it has the tools to provide full employment.

    Abolish the job search network its too inefficient.

    Generally abolish a market oriented solution to employment search its too inefficient.

    Pigeonhole principle at work, after training the pigeons, flying too many to to few pigeonholes. Its inevitable that pigeons are going to land in the non-participant category (not counted as unemployed because they have given up looking for work/hidden unemployment), maybe start a drug habit, hit their wife and kids, develop social problems and antisocial pigeon behaviour.

    By individualizing the unemployment as a a micro instead of macro failure it just self reinforces the ignorance of the empirical facts vast majority of studies show unemployed want to work and have skills which deteriorate if they cant get work hence want to get work.

    Introduce a job guarantee (again) which will get unemployment down to ~2%. As was the conundrum faced in both major world wars too many troops returning from war, too many factories involved in the war effort re-utilize the human resource by giving them a job.

    looking at the sorry state of the country there are a plethora of activities in short supply especially the void of public serviecs, the environment, infrastructure, art and culture, technology.

    The idea that ‘technology’ will ‘displace’ jobs is also a fallacy. By aggregate technology shifts job markets. For every automated system there are a dozen layers of firmware that needs programming, interfaces that need developing and standardizing, technicians to service (see a lot of wise heads nodding when talking about CMOS device failure rates) ;). The big one: New technology creates new problems and the need for further technology or even a viable low tech alternative in some circumstances.

    Eg: For every robot welding, CNC machine (presumably displacing X jobs) take a look at the robot: it would be better if it were wireless, now its wireless is it secure, now its secure is it using too much energy when idle, now can it be made to do some aspect of its work faster, is there competition, what are the manufacturing costs, can it scale to produce different things, are the designers sending it instructions through a universal interface, when it breaks can it fix itself… etc
    (dozens of new industries exist / could exist and humans are the ultimate failsafe service module).

    Recent governments are simply criminal and at the very least so poorly informed as to be negligent with regard to unemployment.
    Criminal practice by statute seems to be the trend lately…

    Time for a job guarantee (again) like the 1945 full employment white paper.

  32. Conservatives Rule

    Hey Wayne I’m a Jazz Musician; I find my own work. No one helps me man!

  33. ace Jones

    To BOTH Adam R & Conservative Rule … owww it doesnt matter, there’s always one or two f-wits in every ‘ comments’ who dont know shit from clay, guess you two just took that mantle. Your comments here only advertise your apparent wealth of ignorance.

    Whilst I’m here, does anyone remember the “Commonwealth Employment Service” they genuinely worked towards getting people jobs, no monetary incentives/goals required by them as they had their ‘heart’ in their work of actually helping the unemployed rather than tripping them up … pity the day they were dismantled.

  34. Wayne Turner

    Conservative Rule: There is life outside of yourself. It’s not all about you. Thanks for your useless story.

    ace Jones: I certainly remember the CES. It had it all in one. Actual jobs there to apply for. NOT the useless non-jobs and “red tape” (The hypocritical Libs love but only when it suits them) of the no job providers.

  35. totaram

    Conservatives Rule:

    Wait till we hit a recession and nobody hires you any more. What will you do then? Never go to Centrelink? I bet not.

    I know people with engineering degrees who are unemployed. Do they find their own work? Yes, by leaving the country. Nice idea, what?
    Shows what an ignorant buffoon you are. I’l bet you don’t even play jazz and just made that up.

  36. Le-Anne

    I am of the ‘mature aged’ group who was looking for work after retraining. I went to the recommended agency..signed up…went to all appointments. Never any jobs. Trod the businesses in areas of my training, most days of the week, until I found a position…me…not the agency. But they rang me often, suggesting they had found me a job and could I fill a form in….I kept telling them I had found the job and that they hadn’t helped in the slightest! Still, the calls came….hmmm did they claim me for their payment? It was harassment and so very frustrating! I know there are ‘bludgers’ on payments, just like there are bludgers in all forms of employment but please don’t assume that all on payments fit that criteria; they don’t.Trying to have the appropriate clothing for interviews, plus petrol or public transport fares as well as keeping your head above water is NOT easy on payments.Something I would ever want to go back to, believe me! I hope those that put down those on people on centrelink payments down, never have to experience it themselves….I don’t think your egos would survive.

  37. Jason

    If anyone would like to understand more about a Job Guarantee (JG) then I highly recommend watching this short talk explaining how it works and why it’s such a good policy option that should be pursued as a permanent macroeconomic automatic stabiliser:

  38. keerti

    this is perverse! Not less so because for most there are no jobs to be employed in, because the reason there are fewer jobs is that the lnp wants it that way, because the “work for the dole” programe (A) doesn’t work, (B) is double dipping by government. A worker on this program is likely to have paid tax, in the case of some mining workers signifigant amounts, and is then forced to work for what he/she is entitled to. All this form an incompetant, insane bunch of no hoping leaner who call themselves a government while they rort the system.

  39. Lou

    Bring on an Election. With this many unemployed being screwed over by Liberals. Each unemployed has family members and friends that are fully aware of how unemployed are being treated as dole bludgers when there are not enough jobs. Older unemployed with lots of experience don’t even get interviews.

    So get rid of 457 visa’s and get rid of job services agencies and bring the management of unemployed back into Centrelink.
    Centrelink can employ long term unemployed to manage unemployed.

    In fact, if the government was really serious about reducing unemployment (particularly long term unemployment), all levels of government (local, state and federal) should be made to employ a certain percentage of long term unemployed.

  40. Michelle Petrat

    Australia has become a police state some time ago without anyone noticing it. A POLICE state, not the harmless version NANNY state

  41. Wally

    Adam R

    Have you ever considered what happens to people who suffer a serious work place injury when their compo payments cease after 2 years?

    They end up on the dole and it can take them years before they are accepted for the disability pension and most of them never regain their self respect because the system is against them and they also have to deal with bigoted, self serving idiots like you.

  42. Scott

    Time to look at a basic wage, remove the job agencies. Remove centrelink. The cost of aministering both those has to be huge. Basic wage easy to administer.

  43. Backyard Bob

    Having read Doug Cameron’s second reading speech it would appear that, a couple of tokenistic and insubstantial “objections” aside, Labor is supporting this Bill. Perhaps one of the current cop of Labor stalwarts hereabouts, who have not ventured to this thread, might speak to this.

    You can read Doug Cameron’s (and others’) “second reading” speech on this page:

  44. paul walter

    Yes, but what happens when they automate burger-flipping?

  45. Judith W

    Has anyone calculated to cost in health dollars to repeatedly punishing the unemployed for being unable to find work. Our society is getting more unhealthy in many ways for every percentage point unemployment rises. And if Centrelink and ‘job service providers’ (whatever that actually means) can create frustration and despair in people not suffering from mental health issues, what effect does it have on those who are?

  46. Pingback: Turnbull escalates war on the poor | THE TRUTH LIBRARY

  47. Dennis_v

    In my experience it should be the “job service providers” that should be fined.

    When I had to report to them I would go for the appointment wait 40 mins to be ignored by someone for approx. 90 seconds, the one time I cancelled the appointment and was promptly told in no uncertain terms that working was not a valid excuse for cancelling an appointment.

    I can only imagine that every single person reporting to these organisations will be fined as I expect the organisation will get a kick back on the “fine”.

  48. Lee

    The Four Corners episode linked above included examples of people having their payments cut off in error, when they had actually turned up for an appointment. They then had to go through a lengthy and tedious process to have the payments reinstated. These types of errors could be the difference between life and death for some of these people and are not acceptable.

  49. Angus

    The liberals and their supporters are horribly inept and clueless people.

  50. Backyard Bob

    I guess the fact that I pointed out that the labor Party is essentially supporting this Bill is going to go unnoticed. Oh well.

  51. Wally

    Backyard Bob

    I would be doing the same if I was in Labor’s position so close to an election, not because I believed the changes are right but to avoid giving the pro LNP MSM any material that could harm the chances of winning the election. As soon as I had won the election I would change the policy to something that is far more workable. In fact ditching the job networks all together would be a great start.

    The LNP do not play straight ball, taking the focus away from the Turnbull and Abbott turmoil would be a very bad move.

    THE underground hostilities between Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the man he ousted, Tony Abbott, have been blow wide open after police were called in to investigate leaks of confidential documents from Cabinet’s National Security Committee.

    The Australian Federal Police confirmed it was considering a referral from the Department of Defence regarding the “possible unauthorised release of government information.’’

    The referral came after Mr Turnbull met Defence Minister Marise Payne, Chief of the Defence Force Mark Binskin and Defence Department secretary Dennis Richardson yesterday morning.

    The concerns relate to a newspaper article which quoted Mr Abbott extensively, and were written by the foreign editor of The Australian, Mr Abbott’s close friend Greg Sheridan.

  52. Malcolm Baxter

    The technology to vote online is almost available for everyone; to be able to view each candidate on pre defined webpages without lobby groups and definitely without politicians and their inflexible party policies.The candidates should be required to answer all questions and if not should be dismissed. All of this ought to be available to all on the secure Internet sites. This country and many others need administrators to carry out the wishes of the citizens who will become empowered instead of hoodwinked by deception and evasion.I am not the first to endorse this; I found the context of it on a website called the Truth contest.

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