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Your views: on crop picking for Centrelink JobSeeker, older unemployed and gas energy

Reader contributions

Today, readers respond to a Liberal MP’s call for the jobless to pick crops, older people out of work, and a controversial gas project.

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Commenting on the story: Force unemployed to pick crops to get Centrelink JobSeeker: Liberal MP

Accommodation will be the big problem for unemployed to pick crops.The government will have to provide accommodation, as do the backpackers who accommodate themselves. – Reg Tomlinson

I actually wanted to do this but do you know 90% of all Australian farms do not employ Australians? After the borders open up, what job security do we have. Nothing, that’s why people are telling the farmers no. I love physical work but I won’t do it if you can’t secure a future next season. – Jason Pleschka

Sure, I’m all for it, so long as they pay for people to get there, a car would be a good start.

Pay for the accommodation and travel costs required, and just like the armed forces, also pay a separation allowance for living away from home. – Stephen King

We totally agree. We have been saying this since it all came to everyone’s attention. – Pam Foxon

Google Fair Work. Search their website for Fruit picking piece rate formula. 

The “average” piecework picker should be earning 15% above the hourly rate applicable. 

How many can earn “the average”? From my personal experience, not many. – Russell Wattie

I have worked hard my whole life and have never needed Centrelink until this year. I hate needing it. I am all for this, it will give purpose back in my life. – Matthew Houston

The only problem is that there is not enough cheap accommodation. – Lorraine Phillips

Who is going to pay for accommodation and travel? We think that this idea is not very well thought out, just like everything else that the LNP government does. Most of the work is in rural areas. – Harold Fahey

This is all well and good except there are a few issues here. 

Will there be transport provided for all the people with no licence or car? So will the average Australian have a transport bus like some of the overseas packers do set up by job agencies?  

Is this a danger using machinery from people not trained in this type of work? Causing medical issues when hurting themselves or someone else?

Are they going to be paid per the hourly rate? As stated by the wages board? Are Australian unemployed only going to have the positions appointed until overseas workers are again allowed into Australia? 

When a jobnet work agency can’t help you find a job with a criminal histor,y is this going to be bypassed by the jobnet work agency to find employment for such a scenario? 

Are people with mental health issues or medical issues going to be forced to work when mentally or physically unable to do the work? – Mary Wright

Commenting on the story: More older and female recipients claiming Centrelink JobSeeker

That’s why the government needs to lower the pension age for women over 60 and 65 for men, as it used to be.

Let people who have worked hard all their lives enjoy the twilight years. Not to be harassed every month to find work.

Why was there no referendum on the pension age? Instead, it was put through by stealth. – Louise Knight

I worked in a florist 18 hours a week but was put off until retail reopens. Because I have a back injury I still get part JobSeeker. It is extremely hard for people over 45 years to gain any type of steady employment. 

Older people can contribute so much. If we have to work up to aged 75 or 70, get people to hire us. You can’t put things in place if there is no action, otherwise reduce the retirement age.

We want to work. The government is making it so hard for general survival. It wasn’t our fault this pandemic hit. But now taking the corona supplement down to $250 will be devastating for many.

Claiming now as many as 100,000 new jobs will be available, but they are not the jobs we will get. I don’t have a computer so I can’t do online. I need to be out working in the community. It builds your self esteem and worth. – Kim Churchill

This is not surprising. Ageism is everywhere. – Robert Beadle

Commenting on the story: Santos gets approval for contentious $3b NSW gas project

Santos has planning approval for its Narrabri gas project, but independent experts are confident it won’t deliver cheap energy in spite of the claim made by Santos.

Tony Woods who is the Director of the Energy Program with the Grattan Institute and one of the go-to experts on energy policy even suggests that if you are thinking of setting up a manufacturing business and need cheap gas in the eastern States, the best option is to move to WA.

The ‘gas-led recovery’ of the Morrison Government is a mirage. There are a number of reasons. Gas has a low multiplier effect and if you want to stimulate quick jobs then a ‘gas-led recovery’ simply won’t do that within the expected window of opportunity for post-Covid recovery. The delivery will take too long.

Yes, gas currently has a role in manufacturing, but we lost manufacturing industry even when gas was cheap. In electricity, it is limited to a balancing role until such time as newer technological solutions are ready to take over.

Trying to recreate a different set of circumstances from the past won’t solve the problems of today and, in the case of fossil fuels, has enormous potential to make them far worse. Jim Allen

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