Are you an Aborigine? Are you disabled? Are you a young person currently unemployed, or even enjoying their Gap Year? Then Tony has the job for you!
You might be paid only half the minimum wage and not be covered by Commonwealth workplace laws but (and this is especially for the Gap Year kids), you might like to consider it as akin to working on a kibbutz . . . it’s all about the experience isn’t it?
“Only Tony Abbott could create a ‘workforce’ where the workers aren’t legally workers and have no workplace rights“: Adam Bandt.
Clearly the intent of this ‘initiative’ is all about killing several birds with one stone, with Tony Abbott clearly expecting to be able to claim that he’s tackling the ‘absolute crap’ of climate change (his promised Green Army) while simultanously artificially bringing down the numbers of youth unemployment; while undercutting the rights of the young employed, and undermining the minimum wage. And perhaps those Graduates and Aborigines might be the same people whose jobs he cut.
Women, junior workers, graduates and indigenous people will bear the brunt of a federal government order to cut 14,000 temporary workers, an analysis of government workplace statistics shows.
Graduate and indigenous recruitment will be slashed, hiring will be frozen across the bureaucracy and lead science organisation CSIRO will be among the the agencies hardest hit with the jobs of up to 1400 scientists and researchers threatened.
Does anyone else see something quite Dickensian about the vision of ‘an army of’ people with disabilities ‘enlisted’ to do “. . .manual labour, including clearing local creeks and waterways, fencing and tree planting“. Perhaps it hasn’t entered the minds of Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt that many people with disabilities might struggle to perform tasks such as fencing and clearing local creeks of rubbish, and especially for a compulsory 30 hours per week.
Surely it cannot be possible that a person with a disability such as Downs Syndrome might be shifted onto the lower allowance of NewStart should they prove themselve capable of “manual labour”?
As suspected, Abbott’s so-called Green Army is nothing more than a Work for the Dole scheme which will primarily focus on cleaning up rubbish. After all it was one of Tony Abbott’s more memorable predictions, that Aborigines should be grateful for what ever job they could get, even if it’s just “picking up rubbish around the community”. Brilliant in it’s inception, Aborigines get to clean up rubbish alongside those other “dregs of society”, the disabled. It should be quite an adventure for those graduates and Gap Year kids expecting an environmental, kibbutz-style experience.
Having clearly given up on the pretext that Abbott’s Green Army has anything whatsoever to do with Climate Change action, the real crux of the matter has now finally been admitted – it’s all about tidying up those messy unemployment and Disability Support Pension figures.
From the Daily Telegraph:
JOB snobs who refuse work because it’s too far to travel are in the federal government’s sights under reforms that would also collapse the disability support pension and unemployment benefits into a single universal welfare payment.
(Kevin Andrews is). . . determined to remove the “perverse incentive’’ to claim the disability pension because it is worth an extra $250 a fortnight compared to Newstart. . .