Media statement from Keith Pitt MP
MEDIA STATEMENT FROM KEITH PITT MP:
“People on welfare should not be turning down any suitable job offers, not just those on farms. If there is a job there they should take it – it might not be the ideal job, but it’s a start.
“I agree there should be consequences if people are refusing to work. Welfare is not supposed to be a lifestyle choice. It is there to help people when they are in need.
“However, farmers in my electorate need a reliable workforce which will turn up every day they are required and do the work that is required of them. They can’t afford to have crops rot on the ground because people don’t want to turn up for work. And, that unfortunately, has been the case so without backpackers available to come in and pick, our farmers would be in a dire situation.
“But employers are not social workers. We need our Job Active providers to take a really dynamic role, working with welfare recipients and all employers.
“There are multiple programs available to help people get into work – the Youth PaTH program, Employment First Aid, run by Impact, and the Wide Bay Burnett will be one of 10 regional employment trials which will look at ways to address local challenges to entering the workforce and help get people job ready.
“There is work available here, but people have to take what is offered.”