Pick fruit or lose dole: PM

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - ROB HAR­RIS

UN­EM­PLOYED Aussies risk los­ing dole pay­ments for up to a month if they refuse “rea­son­able” job of­fers to work as sea­sonal farmhands in a new Fed­eral Govern­ment pro­gram.

In a bid to end the reliance on for­eign work­ers, Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son will to­day an­nounce a re­gional jobs ser­vice that re­quires farm­ers to re­port their em­ploy­ment needs, pay and con­di­tions.

Em­ploy­ment agen­cies will en­gage with the Na­tional Har­vest Labour In­for­ma­tion Ser­vice to put for­ward job seek­ers ahead of hired for­eign labour.

“This is about do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to en­sure Aus­tralian jobs are be­ing filled by Aus­tralians,” Mr Mor­ri­son said.

“Our govern­ment has heard from farm­ers about how tough it is right now to find work­ers, par­tic­u­larly at the height of har­vest sea­son.”

But job seek­ers are be­ing warned the Hu­man Ser­vices De­part­ment will en­force penal­ties for re­fus­ing a rea­son­able job of­fer.

Un­der ex­ist­ing rules, a job­seeker who does not give a rea­son­able ex­cuse for turn­ing down a suit­able job of­fer can have their ben­e­fits re­duced or with­drawn for up to a month.

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