Apr 10, 2003

Massive cut to services for the jobless in the ACT

MASSIVE CUT TO SERVICES FOR THE JOBLESS IN THE ACT

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 10 April 2003

The Howard Government has slashed the number of Job Network sites in the Australian Capital Territory by an extraordinary 60% as part of its changes to the Job Network system.

This translates into the loss of 15 sites and dozens of jobs across the Territory. After July 1, only 10 sites will service the entire Territory.

The Government is closing more sites than they are keeping open.

For jobseekers these closures will mean less choice and result in them having to travel further to get the help they need to find a job.

This dramatic cut in employment services comes at a time when many communities in the ACT are enduring unemployment rates well above 10%. More than 8,000 locals are currently jobless.

On the one hand the Government complains about a growing culture of welfare dependency, while on the other it savages the very programs that would assist the unemployed off welfare and return them to the economic and social life of our community.

Not only does this decision mean less services for the unemployed, but it will actually add to the unemployment queues as staff are sacked from those sites earmarked for closure.

The Government is putting unemployment into the too-hard basket.

This decision to close 15 Job Network sites across the ACT is a further example of the Howard Government walking away from providing genuine assistance to the unemployed.