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Transcript of doorstop: Parliament House, Canberra, 30 November 2005: Liberal MP Judi Moylan's attack on the Howard Government's welfare changes.



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Transcript

Penny Wong Labor Senator for South Australia

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workforce Participation, Corporate Governance and Responsibility

Wednesday 30 November 2005

TRANSCRIPT OF DOORSTOP

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA

E&OE

Subjects: Liberal MP Judi Moylan's attack on the Howard Government's welfare changes

WONG: Today we have a member of the Government saying what Labor has been saying for months now: that your do not need to cut people’s income support in order to get them from welfare to work. A member of the Government, Judi Moylan, has today said quite clearly that cutting people’s incomes is not the way to get them from welfare to work. She has also said something else Labor has been saying for a long time, that this Government has lost a golden opportunity to engage in meaningful welfare reform.

The fact is, the Government’s extreme welfare changes are not welfare reform, they are simply dumping people onto the dole. They are simply shifting people from one Centrelink database to another.

So what we have today is even the Government’s own members saying what Labor has been saying, saying what the churches have been saying, saying what the community has been saying, that dumping people onto the dole does not help them move from welfare to work.

JOURNALIST: What are you calling on Ms Moylan to do?

WONG: I think more we should be calling on the Minister. The Minister should be listening to his own backbench, the Minister should be listening to the churches, the Minister should be listening to the community. The fact is the Minister is putting forward a package, the centrepiece of which is dumping people onto the dole, and he has not provided any evidence that putting people onto the dole will help them get a job.

That was clearly demonstrated in the Senate Committee, that there is no evidence that putting people on the dole will help them get a job.

The Government is guilty of the greatest welfare fraud in Australian history. They are committing a fraud on vulnerable Australians and Judi Moylan has demonstrated that quite clearly today in the House.

JOURNALIST: Judi Moylan says that it will drive more vulnerable people into poverty. Is that a concern that more people should have within the Government?

WONG: We in the Labor Party have been wondering why Government members, who say they want to support Australian families, are supporting a set of changes which will make life harder for vulnerable families in Australia. The core of the Government’s package is a reduction in the household budgets of vulnerable Australian families and the Minister has never explained how that will help people get a job. This is a fraud on vulnerable Australians; it is the greatest welfare fraud in Australian history. It is the greatest welfare fraud in Australian history.

JOURNALIST: Should Judi then speak up within the party, try and get some of her colleagues to support her?

WONG: I say the Minister should be listening to Judi Moylan, the Minister should be listening to the community, the Minister should be listening to the churches. These welfare changes are extreme and at their heart they are about dumping people onto the dole. That does not help people get work, shifting them from one Centrelink database to another.

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