I have been a supporter of “work for the dole” for a long time. When I was Mayor of Gwydir Shire Council I had significant exposure to work for the dole programs that were successfully implemented under the Howard Government.
The people that took part in work for the dole often expressed to me their satisfaction and increased sense of self-worth.
These programs are beneficial to both the community and the participant. Work for the dole gives those looking for work, including the long term unemployed, a new focus, and an increased skill set. An individual who has taken part in work for the dole would be favourably considered by employers.
The Abbott Government has clearly signalled the belief that if you can work, you should work. This participation in the workforce is a part of an individual’s obligation to themselves and society.
The Government is undertaking a review of our welfare system because the many payments and conditions have become increasingly complex. Currently we have 17 working age payments, and 22 supplementary payments and our welfare bill is more than $100 billion a year.
The review will not be looking at the Age Pension, but will assess the options available to Government in maintaining a balance between having an incentive to work and the well-being of the individual.
We are very lucky to live in a country where we have a safety net that provides support to those who need it. I believe that the best thing for the individual, the family, and the community is not welfare, it’s a job.
The Local Sporting Champions grants provide financial assistance to young individuals and teams to travel or purchase equipment for officially recognised state, national or international championships.
Round 3 of the Local Sporting Champions grants will be open until 28 February 2014 and I encourage eligible sporting representatives aged 12-18 years of age to apply.
Successful individual applicants receive $500 and $3000 grants are awarded to team applications that are successful.
In the Parkes Electorate there are many talented young sports men and women, and the expense of travelling to compete can be burdensome. These grants are designed to prove assistance to families to help meet these costs.
Further information regarding eligibility criteria is available from the Australian Sports Commission. Applications for a Local Sporting Champions grants are completed online at www.ausport.gov.au/participating/schools_and_juniors.