Let’s talk: Should dole bludgers be sent to work in rural areas?

There are suggestions dole bludgers should be sent out to work in country Australia to help struggling farmers and communities.
Millions of Australians receive dole payments every month.

Every year hundreds of Australians are caught out cheating the welfare system and purposefully avoiding finding employment so they can stay on the dole.

It’s a problem that draws the ire of taxpayers and seems to be difficult for the government to get a handle on.

One idea that has been floating around for a while is that those who cheat the system be sent packing to the bush and put to work on the land instead.

It’s no secret that many of our precious rural communities are struggling with weather, lack of resources, and financial stress all putting unwanted pressure on them.

So why not send those who need work, and have done wrong, out there to help?

These so-called ‘dole bludgers’ could help run farms, contribute to communities and help keep local businesses running.

One of the biggest problems many rural communities face is an ageing population, so welfare skimpers with young families could also help revive the youth culture and keep schools running.

But not everyone thinks this is a good idea.

There is also the argument that moving people away from their regular lifestyle, friends and family wouldn’t be good for them and would only make them resentful over the whole thing.

It’s the idea that people need to be happy and willing to work to really find success and make a go of it.

Others say this is ‘bludger talk’ though and and that people need suck it up and realise if they wrought the system they have to pay the price.

What do you think?

Should dole bludgers be sent to help in rural communities? Or do we need another way to fix the problem?

  1. Garry Bates  

    I live in a small community in Southern Queensland. There are far from enough jobs here for our people – the last thing we need is an influx of people from the city. The jobs just are not here.

  2. J E Sinagra  

    I have been saying for years, bringing in the dole was the worst thing the Government ever did. YEs, Yes, Yes…..they should have to work for their handout. There is plenty of work they could do; cleaning up our streets; community work; helping the sick….elderly….disabled. I am sure there is many more suggestions. There has been many stories of young people having a good time surfing in Bali; 3 generations of families who haven’t done a days work in Their lives. And us poor seniors/ pensioners, who have worked sooo hard all their lives, being penalised with cuts in everything!!!!

    • Christina Miller  

      J E Sinagra would you be kind enough to quote from, cite or oherwise name the publications/news outlets where the many stories of the young ‘dole bludger’ people having a good time sufing in Bali appeared.

  3. Chris Terry  

    Unwilling workers wont be very productive, in an isolated community. So who will “enforce the must work ethic”? So called elderly farmers situated often many klms from the local police are not going to be able to muster any help and support in a hurry if things strart to go wrong, and who is going to feed them and provide transport to work. Keep them(the bludgers) in the city (maybe not their own city) that is where the support services are based let the government bodies manage this.Yes they can clean up the streets, rubbish, tidy gardens and get rid of graffiti. I wouldn’t want them looking after my relative in an aged care facility, residents need to have care from people who care about them, not someone who has been forced to work there to clear a debt.

  4. Shane  

    not good idea, only people who worked on properties would be able to do that, there is seldom any tree for shade, they have cow and sheep to mow the lawns, you could not expect a person without the understanding of the land to work out in the open of 35-45 degree temps.

  5. Murray Walker  

    All recipients of unemployment benefit should have to do some sort of work for the payment after a certain period say three months, this particularly would apply to single recipients. After a further period they should have to relocate to where work, paid or unemployment participation, is available. I see no issue with having to move for work, helps build resilience and self reliance, did it many times to secure work in the past. The issue of leaving friends etc; is no excuse start to contribute instead of take.

  6. Ross  

    This is a very silly idea at so many levels.
    Noting that struggling farmers would be on Centrelink payments themselves, it implies farmers are owed a living and country lifestyle while the urban unemployed are not.
    It also suggests farm families with farm businesses should be treated differently to the small urban businessperson who is struggling or whose business fails.
    While some farmers may be struggling do circumstances out of their control some will also simply be poor farm business managers.
    It also assumes the unemployed are dole bludgers who wish to live on welfare; the few that do are likely those drug addicts and the like who would be no help on a farm.

  7. Peter Kenrick  

    If nothing else, the unemployed/unemployable should be out cleaning up roadsides, weeding feral weed species out of goverment owned land, upgrading public facilities and the like. As for the druggies on unemployment benefits, cold turkey in solitary, then working out in the remote areas where drugs will be harder to come by. I know the dealers will follow, but it is a damn sight harder to hid in the bush than against the urban population, and when the dealers are caught, do an Indonesian on them. Dead dealers deal no more and make pretty good blood and bone.

  8. Naomi  

    No way there is no jobs already in rural areas, school leavers can not get jobs out here how the he’ll are no hopers who don’t wanna work going to get a job, they say work on a farm, it’s too hot and dry for them who is going to make them work, they don’t know how to do a hard days work on a farm leave it to the farmers and the experienced farm help, there is plenty of jobs in the city a dole blugger can do, like cleaning the streets, parks I mean put them into council jobs they can hold the stop go sign in road works that’s not hard you surly don’t need experience to hold a stop go sign.

    • Trixie M  

      Actually you need to do a Traffic Management course to hold those stop and go signs. Which my daughter did by the way. I do get a little tired of all unemployed being labelled as dole bludgers. I have seen with my own eyes how hard both my daughter and son looked for worked. Being sent on government course after course. My son finally managed to score a casual part time job just before Christmas after 2 YEARS of looking and my daughter was hoping to score a job at her local chicken farm last I talked to her, and she has certificates to operate heavy machinery

  9. Glen  

    People who don’t want to work will only continue to bludge on the farms. They are likely to cause a lot of trouble if sent to rural areas. Much better to get them doing clean-ups on beaches and road verges – might make them more environmentally aware too, since they are often the ones that make the mess.

  10. Geoff  

    Can the long term unemployed go into the reserve army and maybe be a real contributer to all . Learning a skill and being focused must be a win win situation

    • Robin Henry  

      Those who joined the Regular Army or volunteered for the Army Reserve wouldn’t appreciate having a whole lot of misfits, malcontents and odd bods thrown into their patch and having to put up with them. Anyone who wants to join the military can do so and perhaps Centrelink should encourage anyone with sufficient skills, literacy etc to consider it, but forcing the issue wouldn’t be of benefit.

  11. Karen Brinkman  

    You will always find that there are people out there that don’t want to work, but there are also ones that do and for these people maybe they need to try something new to get them out of their comfort zone to make them feel alive again. This again is something that needs more than words as the government needs to send people where they are needed and no just dump people anywhere and then blame it on them for it not working.

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