Port Macquarie among welfare non-compliance hotspots in NSW

A list identifies welfare non-compliance hot spots.

A list identifies welfare non-compliance hot spots.

Port Macquarie has ranked seventh in the state on a welfare non-compliance hot spot list.

NSW has 11 of the top 30 locations across Australia where job seekers are persistently not meeting their mutual obligations.

More than 28,000 people had five or more failures, on average, over the past 12 months.

Blacktown topped the NSW welfare non-compliance list followed by Dubbo, Auburn, Orange and Liverpool.

Port Macquarie came in seventh and Taree was eighth on the NSW list.

Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker said overwhelmingly those on welfare did the right thing and met their obligations. 

“But there are those who intentionally neglect their responsibilities and these people will face the consequences,” he said.

“Taxpayers who go to work every day have the right to expect that those on welfare will do the right thing and fulfil their obligations.

“The Coalition Government’s new welfare compliance system, announced as part of the 2017 Budget, will ensure that those who are taking the taxpayer for a ride will face consequences, including cancellation of payments.”

Two thirds of people on unemployment benefits do the right thing and never or rarely miss an appointment.  

But about 100,000 people consistently miss job appointments, job interviews and other required activities without a valid reason. 

The new welfare compliance system is designed to pick up earlier those who have serious issues and provide assistance, and have more serious and immediate consequences for those doing the wrong thing.

Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge said they knew that most people on the dole did everything they could to find a job, but there were too many who deliberately flouted the system and have been getting away with it.

“These are people who constantly miss job interviews, fail to turn up to work for the dole, and turn down suitable job offers,” he said.

“Some appear to have no intent on wanting to work.”

Mr Tudge said the new welfare compliance system would ensure that those who need more assistance would get it earlier, but those who were taking the taxpayer for a ride would face consequences, including having their welfare cancelled if they turned down a suitable job.

“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.

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