‘A major problem’: more than 200 are avoiding work for welfare lifestyle

THE HIT LIST: Orange is 12th on the national list, fourth in NSW and second only to Dubbo in country NSW for people avoiding work.
THE HIT LIST: Orange is 12th on the national list, fourth in NSW and second only to Dubbo in country NSW for people avoiding work.

Orange has the second highest number of people avoiding work in country NSW.

Government figures show that Orange had 225 people who had missed job appointments, job interviews, turned down jobs and failed to meet other requirements.

They have fallen foul of the new welfare compliance system announced in the federal budget which could lead to their welfare payments being cancelled.

Only Dubbo with 245 people ranked higher in rural NSW.

Orange was the 12th worst area nationwide. The worst welfare trouble spot was Caboolture in Queensland with 387 ‘dole bludgers’.

The federal government report showed about 50,000 people in Australia were actively avoiding getting a job.

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge said the government was fed up with people who deliberately flouted the system.

“There are clearly suburbs in Australia where there is a concentration of people consistently missing appointments and job interviews and have no excuse for doing so,” he said.

“The majority are men under 30 who should be doing everything they can to get work.

“And if they are capable of working, but make no effort to do so, then they are going to find their welfare payments cancelled.”

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said taxpayers did not want their money wasted on people who refused to work.

“For capable, working age Australians, we should never accept welfare dependency as inevitable, or a lifestyle choice,” she said.

Orange business expert, Bruce Buchanan, the Chief Executive Officer of the Central NSW Business Enterprise Centre, said a change of attitude was needed for many people about working.

“It is a major problem,” he said.

“People want to start as the managing director and work there way up from there.

“They don’t want to start in the scullery.”

He said there were jobs available in hospitality and mining but people needed to be more flexible to work the hours required by the employer.

“You have to work in with the employer, not the employer having to work in around you.

“People have to make their lives fit around the job that is available.”

He said the retail industry was “very tight” at present with demand slowing down.