Looking for work? Head to Dubbo

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Got a problem making ends meet on Newstart? Move to Dubbo. There are plenty of jobs there, according to Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.

Just days after YourLifeChoices revealed that there are 183,943 people aged 55 and over receiving Newstart payments, and that the length of time over-55s stay on Newstart is 188 days, Mr McCormack has pushed back on calls from within his party room, and from the Greens, and from the Opposition, and from a host of welfare agencies for a boost to the $40 a day allowance.

The payment is a “stop-gap” measure, he said, while urging unemployed Australians to move to regional towns such as Dubbo, where there are “so many jobs”.

“There are jobs out there in regional Australia, and there are good paying jobs,” Mr McCormack told Sky News.

“And what I think we do need in this country is a more mobile workforce. So, people have to be prepared to move sometimes out of their comfort zone and out of their hometown to the next town to take a job.

“A job, any job, will be better than none at all. And it will be better than living on welfare. And certainly, with Newstart it is that stop-gap. It is that safety measure. It is not supposed to be a living wage as such.”

The Newstart rate for a single without dependents is $555.70 a fortnight – compared with $926.20 including supplements for a single on the Age Pension – and has dropped 40 per cent in real terms in the past 25 years.

On Monday, Greens Senator Rachel Siewert introduced a private member’s bill in the Senate to increase Newstart by $75 a week. Midweek, former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce called for an increase adding that not every unemployed person was able to move to another part of the country.

Opposition social services spokeswoman Linda Burney said: “Barnaby Joyce gets it. Why doesn’t the Deputy Prime Minister?”

Treasury estimates that a $75-a week increase would cost the budget $12.5 billion over four years and $39 billion over a decade.

In other news, the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) has reacted angrily to a Fairfax exclusive that revealed a bipartisan call to increase the Newstart allowance was removed from a parliamentary report at the direction of the Morrison Government on the eve of the federal election.

Fairfax reported that former social services minister Paul Fletcher intervened to have the recommendation removed.

Acting ACOSS chief executive Jacqueline Phillips labelled the intervention “outrageous” and said “a parliamentary inquiry’s recommendations … should be based purely on evidence presented to the inquiry.”

“Rather than trying to avoid the issue, the Government should listen to the clear calls from the community, business sector and economists, for an increase to Newstart, which would reduce poverty, stimulate the economy and create jobs,” she said.

The intensity of the debate has clearly rattled Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who said the issue should be debated using “the internal processes available to each of us”.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann claims that most Australians are on Newstart for only a “very short period”.

Senator Siewert disagrees, saying the employment situation in Australia has changed since the benefit first came in, and certainly since Newstart was introduced in 1994.

The Department of Social Services notes that the proportion of Newstart recipients on payments for more than a year has climbed from 69 per cent in 2014 to 73 per cent in 2016 and to 76.5 per cent in 2018.

Dubbo here you come?

Are you holding out hope for an increase in the Newstart allowance? Have you had first-hand experience in trying to find employment as an older Australian? What advice do you have for others in that situation?

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Written by Janelle Ward


Total Comments: 55
  1. 0

    Housing, is Dubbo Ready for the Influx.
    Families/school children/medical etc.
    Might be some work and are they paying hourly/week rate.
    The Peace Rate and whenever I need you is not a real job (Security).
    Who’s Paying the moving costs and when the work ends to next place.
    I would suggest to use the unemployed in Dubbo First.

    • 0

      This should be The Friday Funnies.
      It would be one of The Best.

    • 0

      Chris B T, I wonder if Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, will offer to cover for their moving expenses to Dubbo?

      He receives $288 travel allowance per day.

    • 0

      I have been told that Centrelink will pay your moving costs, if you have a job lined up at your new location.

      I had to move from Wide Bay to the Gold Coast to gain my last decade of employment. There was nothing at all for a 53 year old in that area. My biggest problem was funding a home with what I could sell my country home for. It should be easier going the other way.

    • 0

      How many times per year will Centerlink Pay Moving Costs.
      Agricultural jobs are seasonal and Peace Rate Pay (Not actual day/week rate).
      Paid for actual Time Working and usually connected to Backpacker Hostel/Boarding House.
      Transitional work/short term work is what backpackers seek and employers Prefer.
      The Gold Coast had sufficient Employment, not Seasonal and Paid Correctly.
      Permanent to several years is stable employment,not this 2/3 months maybe 6 months work at any one location.
      Bundaberg is much the same as Dubbo,no Unemployed Taking Up that type of work.
      Fair Work Commission has the Non Payers/Under Payers/Wage Thieves In There Sights.

    • 0

      Forget the Dubbo idea, Chris. McCormack is an uneducated fool and doesn’t understand the perspectives of the unemployed, including the fact that jobs destroyed by Australian Govts (outsourced to India, China, etc) don’t exist in Dubbo.
      Politicians need to have their bloated salaries reduced to 1994 levels, with increases since then matching the increases for Newstart, to understand the issue.

    • 0

      Dubbo is a large regional city with very good infrastructure
      … there are other jobs available than farming.

  2. 0

    what are the Dubbo statistics for Newstart. numbers on new start and average lengh of support also rental costs.

  3. 0

    Q1. Are you holding out hope for an increase in the Newstart allowance?

    Newstart allowance should increase for older Australians (Seniors over 60 years old) as they find it hardest to gain employment, due to health issues, physical injury due to type of employment (manual work e.g. lifting) and basically discrimination against older workers. Its a long wait between 60 years of age till the 67 years of age pensionable age.
    For the younger healthy people, the low(er) Newstart allowance should be an incentive to look for employment (instead of going surfing at tweed Heads).

    Q2. Have you had first-hand experience in trying to find employment as an older Australian?
    Absolutely- after the age of 60 it is difficult to get employed, unless you have your own business. Only ‘jobs’ available is to be a cleaner or carer.

    Q3. What advice do you have for others in that situation?
    From the age of 50 onwards please check the health of your (industry) super fund. Consolidate all your super into one (preferable industry) fund to ensure that you do not end up with multiple fees and multiple life insurances. Max out the amount you can contribute to the superfund yearly so that you pay min. tax (15%?) going in. In this way you build up a lump sum that you can draw upon when cease employment or retire to pay off your mortgage when you are no longer ’employable’ due to sickness, physical injury or simply age(ism).

  4. 0

    I retired, then got bored and re-entered the workforce at 68 years of age. With the same employer but on short term contracts, as I thought that would work best. I was wrong, as I did not count on Centrelink having the audacity to cut me off the age pension whenever they had some paranoid idea that I was earning too much.
    So I moved to the NT with my adult sons and got a full time job. Then I was able to kick Centrelink to the kerb, for a change.
    I find work at my age due to the fact I am highly qualified for the type of work I do (either health, or welfare – currently welfare) and am willing to move to where the work is.
    I will turn 74 years of age in a few months and still work full time. My motivation for working is due to the fact it keeps me mentally active – plus I don’t have to deal with the
    Centrelink system.
    I have an adult son who was on Newstart. He has now switched to Austudy. Without me paying the majority of the bills in the Unit I share with my 2 sons, he would have no chance of getting a job. He became seriously depressed on Newstart, due, again, to the horrible way Centrelink treats it’s ‘customers’ and cuts them off payments in the blink of an eye, just because they are not happy with some minor problem.
    So I am all for increasing Newstart Allowance. By $100.00 per week.
    Also, this country needs to move to a non-means tested pension like they have in the UK.
    The current system treats Newstart and pensioner recipients as some kind of third class citizens.

  5. 0

    Unfortunately we get the kind of government we vote for. Australia voted these clowns back in and must now suffer the consequences. They make a mockery of the expression ‘liberal’.

  6. 0

    Australia is on track to eclipse Qatar as the largest exporter of gas by 2020, but is expected to earn only $600 million in 2018 – the amount of revenue the government earns in beer tax every year – compared to Qatar’s $26.6 billion.

    That’s $266 billion over a decade more than enough for Newstart, Old Age Pension, reverse the 2017 changes to the Pensioner Assets Test and unlimited helicopter rides for politicians or any other perk they may desire.

    • 0

      The incompetence of Australian Govts to work for the people is simply outrageous, and I can’t understand why people keep voting these incompetent MPs back in. Howard did this dirty deed about Gas, yet they were celebrating his 80th birthday with Morrison claiming he was the best PM ever!

      If the country was managed properly, the massive Australian natural resources, Gas in particular, could easily allow Australia to be the richest country in the world, with NO individual taxes, universal age pension with NO tests, etc, etc, etc. We badly need a strong leader to declare a national emergency and take back control of all these resources to enable Australia, and not foreign interests, to benefit from OUR resources. My rant for the day!

    • 0

      “Over the next few years, on similar LNG export volumes, while Qatar collects $26 billion in royalties — not including income tax and proceeds from state-owned companies — Australia will collect absolutely zero in PRRT from the booming offshore gas industry.” … yep, well done Australia.


  7. 0

    Instead of ‘Dubbo’ – transpose that with any Australian rural town name.
    So move to a rural town? – easier said than done. In my early 60’s, I got shafted from a job in capital city and could not find another job. So I moved to a rural town 550kms away, where I had done a previous contract position. I loved the country, and was happy to make the change – but found the biggest hurdle being the tight knit community, and their silent but strong reluctance to incoming intruders ‘taking their jobs’ – even though in many instances, no locals would take the jobs. Rents might be cheaper – but most of the jobs that are available, are low paying. Well paying jobs seemed to be closed to locals only. And again, seniors are clearly overlooked in favour of local juniors. After many months of low paying, casual jobs, I managed to get a fill in govt job, and that was more a fluke than anything.
    However, even from the initial interview, it was practically clearly understood that I was only filling in till they found a suitable local applicant. I volunteered in local organisations, went to numerous local events, and supported local businesses as much as I could. But there was always this ‘intruder’ mentality.
    Sure enough, one day I heard my immediate supervisor talking about her daughter (who also worked in the same area) – and how her daughter’s best friend had just finished her marriage, and wanted to move out to her friend’s town for a ‘fresh start’. Within 3 months, I was out of a job, and surprise, surprise – this ‘friend’ had miraculously gained the position on her ‘merits’. Yet had very little experience, particularly in my specialised area. From then on, I could not get any type of job in the town. It was impossible, and I soon found out that the town became all the more ostracizing to a senior nonworking single.
    I moved back to the city, and again could not get a job. No sorry – I COULD have got a job as a cleaner, or done a course and worked in Aged Care, but an old injury made these options unviable. So bided my time – eating in to my limited super to keep my house – and then went on the Aged Pension.
    Moving to rural towns in no way can be seen as the panacea to ensure people – of any age – get a job. Jobs are limited, and locals get priority.

    • 0

      Older and wiser, I think you presented the argument better than I did, – goodonya.

    • 0

      Moving to rural towns is not a panacea but when all is said and done would you prefer to be on the pension in the regions or the city?

    • 0

      Farside – in answer to your question. I have done similar – that is, after living in the country for many years, moved back to the city because that is far better for a senior age single. Accessibility to health services, groups that cater to seniors, and the most important, transport. I actually find it cheaper living in the city, far more things to do and keep busy with, petrol cheaper, more socializing, closer to airport (it used to cost me the same amount to fly from the town to capital city – 500kms – as it did to fly from Sydney to Perth). I got to know plenty of senior people living in remote country towns who would love to move to bigger cities, but couldn’t afford the housing price difference. Yet I personally have not come across any seniors living in city crying out to move to rural area.

    • 0

      I have met quite a few who have made a sea/tree change, myself included, to regional areas in recent years. None have commented they wished to return to live out their days in the city, in fact it’s usually the opposite.

      On the other hand I know plenty of oldies that are happily spending their twilight in the city and would never contemplate moving. But then you read of old folk who die isolated and lonely in the city despite being surrounded by tens if not hundreds of thousands of people. Horses for courses I guess.

    • 0

      O&W, contact your local pollie and write to Mc Cormack your story needs to be shared.

    • 0

      Dubbo is a large regional city with very good infrastructure
      … there are other jobs available than farming.

  8. 0

    Let Mr. McCormack move to Dubbo instead, get a job as a labourer, give up his highly paid political job and learn what it’s like to live like a Real Person. Let him work at that job until he’s 70, retire on an ordinary Super plan, no free flights, no long lunches paid by the taxpayer, no free medical paid by the taxpayers, ……. no plumb overseas job land in his lap when he does retire, where he collects the pollie pension at the same time he’s being paid for the top job overseas. Why do we put up with these insensitive, greedy so and so’s in this country? Just like his female pollie mate who said on air the other day that the Age Pension is ‘generous’. They truly are so out of touch.

    • 0

      Oldchick, he wouldn’t survive for one day. He receives $288 a day just for travel allowance.

      We have to put up with this ignorant man because he is a puppet for the real owners of this land.

  9. 0

    A lot of the comments hostile to unemployed folk are subjective, some grazier who wants cheap labour with low pay and no support will complain, “Nobody wants to work’, – the dole is destroying Australia” – so he finally gets people to work for him for $5./hr, – of course they live in a tent and have appalling problems staying healthy, but he says, – look, I told you so, stop their Centrelink and the bastards will work.
    So after skyting to his mates for a few weeks he thinks, why $5. they only deserve $1.
    He then bleats to the police because his workforce, being Australian, take over his house, share all the food and anything of value and use his vehicles to move on.
    There are always thieving opportunists about, on the employer side and the employee side, neither should have any oxygen for their lies, – what we mostly generally think is “a fair thing'” is how it should be, not the weasely politicians looking after their rich benefactors.
    – Dubbo, Work. “The unemployment rate in Dubbo is typically below the State average and is currently at 4.9% compared to 5.6% for NSW. (.7%) It is estimated that 16,959 people work in Dubbo^, the majority of whom work a 35-39 hour week.” – so you get a few of these extortionist types and some genuinely ‘can’t find anyone with the Training’ people, so centrelink forces say 2,000 unemployed to move to Dubbo, – based on that hearsay minister, – turns out the actual jobs going begging are app. 500, – oh, 1,000. if you take the folk who get fired so their employers can employ some of the starving 2,000.
    This destabilises the whole community, crime rates go up, resentment against the ‘Invaders’ rises, people sell up and leave, – plenty of overseas real estate agents to buy those properties at depressed prices..
    Nobody wins, except perhaps the lying politician.

  10. 0

    Another moron opens its mouth you that voted them in are getting what you wanted I did not vote for them so I expect the worst its only just started for 3 yrs cop it

    • 0

      cup of tea I didn’t vote for them either, – why do you call me a moron?
      I presented an analysis, you may disagree, – fine, as long as you present reasonable arguments, if you present no arguments at all, – just calling me a moron, why should you ever be heard?

    • 0

      No. That’s defeatism and it’s lazy. Half of us did not vote them in at all and we will continue to call incompetence out.

      Apathy is the Australian way and that is exactly why this re electing of incompetent, do nothing Parties continues.

      Just copping it is not a sane option.

    • 0

      cup of tea you shoud have exactly said who you were responding to, – just because you are old does not mean you should be vague or irresponsible or careless.
      Old can not afford to be Lazy.

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