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E&OE TRANSCRIPT-RADIO INTERVIEW-5AA WITH LEON BYNER-MONDAY, 5 AUGUST 2019

August 06, 2019

LEON BYNER: I’ve got the Shadow Employment Minister Brendan O’Connor. Brendan, thanks for coming on. What do you make of that?
 
BRENDAN O’CONNOR, SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT:  I’m not surprised these incidents happen and I think they’re damning and of course they should not happen.  The fact is we need to make those job seekers that are not work ready – I mean the Commonwealth has an obligation to ensure that we have dedicated services and support to get them ready so they can access the labour market and that’s why we really do have to examine the billions of dollars that are spent on the job active system. It doesn’t seem to be connecting job seekers to employment.
 
BYNER:  Alright, what do we do about the view that people are getting too, if you like, job snob about getting jobs that they don’t think, whilst they’re being offered, oh that doesn’t suit me? Do you think we need to do anything about this?
 
O’CONNOR: Look, there may be examples – there may be instances where that would occur. If you reject a job that was offered to you there are consequences if it was an acceptable job. I have to say, Leon, there are far more job seekers in the labour market than there are jobs. So, mathematically speaking, even if everyone earnestly looked for every job, the overwhelming majority of job seekers will miss out in that sense because it just doesn’t match up. Of course there might be some that seek to decline employment but I think that doesn’t happen as often as it’s asserted, but it has happened and there are consequences and that’s why it’s called mutual obligation. You have to seek work and if you don’t seek work, unless there are reasons for that that are justifiable, then you can lose income. Now what I am concerned about, Leon, though it seems to me that they’re bashing the unemployed, not everybody but I think the Minister, Senator Cash has gone out of her way to attack very vulnerable people for another reason that is to distract people away from the debate on the Newstart allowance.
 
BYNER:  Alright. Do you want to know who that job network person or provider is? I am not going to say anything on this program but we’ll get Chris Hamilton and Chris can share that information with Brendan can’t you?
 
CHRIS HAMILTON (CALLER): Yes I can in a confidential nature.
 
O’CONNOR: That would be very helpful. We can enquire discreetly with the Department and with the Government, questions around those types of things. So if anyone wants to provide to my office those types of examples Leon, I am very happy to take them up and bring them back to your show.
 
BYNER:  Thanks Brendan.
 

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