Broome tops dole cheats list

Broome Advertiser - - News - Sarah Martin

More than 10,000 West Aus­tralians on wel­fare face los­ing pay­ments un­der a Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment crack­down, as new data shows the 10 worst ar­eas in the State for dole cheats who re­peat­edly break the rules.

Un­der a new de­merit point sys­tem that be­gan last week, wel­fare re­cip­i­ents with at least six “strikes” against their name will face los­ing Cen­tre­link pay­ments for the first time, with the max­i­mum penalty a four-week sus­pen­sion. A strike is in­curred when some­one breaches mu­tual obli­ga­tion re­quire­ments for job­seek­ers, such as fail­ing to turn up to train­ing or an in­ter­view, or re­ject­ing a job of­fer.

New fig­ures show that more than 10,000 peo­ple in WA recorded more than six strikes against their name in 2017, with some lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas show­ing that al­most half of all re­cip­i­ents re­peat­edly broke the rules.

Broome was the worst lo­cal gov­ern­ment area in the State, at 40.3 per cent, fol­lowed by Moora (33.6 per cent), Merredin (28.7 per cent) and Kal­go­or­lie-Boul­der (26.6 per cent).

Round­ing out the top 10 worst ar­eas was the City of Perth, where 19.1 per cent — al­most one in five peo­ple — flouted job­seeker re­quire­ments more than six times. Un­der the pre­vi­ous rules, job­seek­ers faced no fi­nan­cial penalty, but they now face los­ing their pay­ments.

Drug and al­co­hol ad­dic­tion will be re­moved from July 1 as a le­git­i­mate ex­cuse for miss­ing ap­point­ments, with more than 1000 West Aus­tralians cit­ing “substance or al­co­hol use af­fected at­ten­dance” in the past year as the rea­son for not at­tend­ing.

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