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Employment devil in the detail.

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Senator Natasha Stott Despoja

Deputy Leader Australian Democrats

Employment Spokesperson


11 November 1999


Employment devil in the detail


While the Australian Democrats welcome the fall in unemployment in October, the Government m ust address increasing part-time employment, and the rises in youth unemployment in three states, given its mooted policy ideas, do little to alleviate these problems, said the Democrats’ Employment Spokesperson, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja.


“Almost half the new jobs in October were part-time or casual. ‘Part-time’ can mean as little as one hour’s paid work per week,” said Senator Stott Despoja.


“For some workers, part-time work suits their lifestyle and income needs. However, many other part-time and casual workers need the stability, security and financial sustainability full-time employment brings.


“ABS figures released this year revealed that, of the nearly one in four part-time workers who wanted to work more hours, 63 percent wanted to work full-time.


“The Government must review policies which promote part-time job creation at the expense of full-time jobs, to give Australians the job security they need.


“The vision for reform outlined by Senator Jocelyn Newman in her controversial discussion paper reveals the Government assumption that part-time or casual work can “provide a springboard into full-time or more secure employment.


“There is no study in Australia to support this assertion. On the contrary, research tends to show that it will not automatically lead to secure full-time employment, but can become a trap.


“These, and other dangerous assumptions, are the basis for current Government policymaking. Australia’s jobseekers deserve better. They are making the effort to fulfil their side of the mutual obligation bargain and the Government must meet that commitment.


Senator Stott Despoja also noted the rise in youth unemployment in South Australia, Queensland and Victoria.


“Again, while the overall picture is good, the Government must not lose sight of the areas where more effort needs to be made to encourage sustainable job creation,” Senator Stott Despoja said.


“The 4.2 percent rise in youth unemployment in Queensland is of particular concern. All the mutual obligation rhetoric and work for the dole schemes in the world won’t create new jobs for young people,” concluded Senator Stott Despoja.


To arrange comment contact Catherine Wolthuizen on (08) 8232 7595



rw  1999-11-15  11:11