Apr 7, 2003

Massive cut to services for the jobless in the Northern Territory


MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 7 April 2003

The Howard Government has slashed the number of Job Network sites in the Northern Tasmania by an extraordinary 62% as part of its changes to the Job Network system.

This translates into the loss of 18 sites and potentially hundreds of jobs across the state. After July 1, only 11 sites will service the entire Territory.

It will mean that many towns will be left without any Job Network provider, and that the unemployed in those towns will have 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 Northern Territory are enduring unemployment rates well above 10% and youth joblessness is stuck at 26%.

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.

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.

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

This decision to close 18 Job Network sites across the Northern Territory is a further example of the Howard Government walking away from providing adequate assistance to those unemployed living in regional Australia.