ED'S DESK: We need jobs, not an exodus of our jobless
I'M NOT sure I understand Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Michael McCormack's position on Newstart.
Mr McCormack was today reported as urging people on Newstart to move towns to find work.
While that may be appropriate in some instances - say where there's no work in the big cities and plenty in surrounding regions - I'm not sure it's something we should be advocating here in Hinkler.
We have a very effective member in Keith Pitt.
He has delivered a lot for this region and is working tirelessly to generate job opportunities, particularly with the Hinkler Deal.
I can appreciate his current position on this issue of Newstart payments that the best form of welfare is a job.
But while there's a real drive to create more work, at the moment for many the jobs are not there.
The average length of time Newstart recipients in our part of the world are staying on these payments is more than three years.
We don't want to be losing these people.
Part of a government's remit is to govern for all and support our most vulnerable.
Those out of work need to be supported to develop the skills so they can find employment.
I don't think encouraging someone to move on to another place and abandoning their support networks is either fair or workable.
Newstart payments should be raised.