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Monday, 19 March 2018
Page: 1511

Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister for Jobs and Innovation) (20:07): In terms of what the measure will actually do, from 1 July 2018 jobseekers who are subject to RapidConnect will generally be paid their income support from the day they first attend a meeting with their jobactive or Transition to Work provider rather than from the date their claim was made or deemed to have been made. These changes are designed to ensure jobseekers connect with employment services as quickly as possible and are accessing the programs that are available to help them find a job.

In terms of why the changes themselves are actually needed, more than one-third of jobseekers take longer than two days to connect with their jobactive or Transition to Work provider, and almost 10 per cent take longer than five days to attend their initial appointment. These delays are inconsistent with community expectations that those on income support are making all reasonable efforts to connect with employment services and find work as quickly as possible.

I also highlight, though, that there are safeguards that are being put in place. Jobactive and Transition to Work providers are contractually required to have appointments available for jobseekers to attend within two business days. Where there is no appointment available for a jobseeker to attend within two business days, their income support would generally commence from the date their claim was made.