Dole scheme could benefit councils

Albert van Zetten
Albert van Zetten

NORTHERN Tasmanian councils could be beneficiaries of unpaid work through the federal government's revived Work for the Dole scheme.

In the past, scheme participants have been recruited to undertake civic maintenance duties in council reserves and rubbish collection.

Mayors contacted yesterday said they were waiting for more details to emerge from the government before they decided whether to opt to receive work.

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the council would consult with the government over what its contribution to the program might be.

"As the largest council in the state, and as a major regional centre, we have an obligation to work with unemployed people in our community ... to provide work experience and skills that enhance a person's quality of life and employment prospects," he said.

"While we're keen to get business investment that leads to increases in full-time employment in our city, skilling people up is also an important part of the solution."

Meander Valley Council Mayor Craig Perkins said he was unaware of the full details of the program and how it would work.

"Generally, though, having been involved in these types of program's before, if structured right with appropriate projects to work on, they can generate good participant and community outcomes," he said.

Northern Midlands Mayor Kim Polley said the council would wait for more information before any commitment to it.

"In the past the success has relied on good supervision/ team leaders on such schemes," he said.

Youth Network of Tasmania project officer Tegan Pearce said there was no guarantee that the work for the dole scheme will provide young people with sustainable, long- term employment.

"The work for the dole scheme will not create more job opportunities for young people so they will still face many of the same challenges in seeking employment," she said. There are 12,821 Tasmanians who receive Newstart and Youth Allowance payments and 3975 of those live in the greater Launceston area.


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