Australia is a country which is lucky enough to have a safety net. If we want to continue to have a country which can support all its citizens then we need to ensure that our welfare system is sustainable.
For our system to be sustainable we need to ensure that any person who is capable of working has every opportunity available to them to move into the workforce. Taking part in work provides structure, a sense of self-esteem and often a great network of support around an individual. The best form of welfare is a job.
The Government has released an Exposure Draft of the New Employment Services Model which is now available for public consultation. More information about how to become involved in the consultation process is available at: www.employment.gov.au.
An important part of the proposed changes for job seekers is that they will be required to be actively looking for work. It does far more harm for a job seeker to drift into a cycle of welfare dependency or become long term unemployed than to be required to take part in work for the dole or to apply for a variety of jobs.
The Government is investing $5.1 billion in a wide range of services which are designed to assist jobseekers in getting a job so that they can support themselves. The Government has also encouraged job seekers into the workplace by providing assistance through relocation allowances and through wage subsidies for employers of mature age jobseekers who are aged over 50.
I have seen the benefit that participation in a work for the dole program can bring to a person’s self-esteem. I have also seen participation in work for the dole lead to employment. The Government is making these changes to improve the lives of Australians, increase workforce participation and ensure that the benefits of work are shared among as many Australians as possible.
Thursday 7 August 2014 will be a National Day of Mourning in honour of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 tragedy.
The interdenominational service will be held at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne and members of the public have been invited to attend.
My thoughts, and the thoughts of all Australians, go out to those who have been affected by this terrible event.
Those wishing to attend the National Memorial Service should contact a Ceremonial and Protocol Officer on 02 6271 5991 or 02 6271 5209 or email email@example.com up until 12 noon on Wednesday 6th August 2014.