In April last year, 18 year-old Josh Park-Fing tragically died at his Government-approved Work for the Dole site in Toowoomba.
Distraught family members and shocked members of the public demanded answers. Minister of Employment Michaelia Cash indicated that an investigation would be carried out into the tragedy and a report would be released within a month.
Eleven months on and the Park-Fing family, Josh’s friends, and the general public are still waiting for the report into this tragedy to be released.
Furthermore, immediately following the tragedy the Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union (AUWU) made an FOI request for the Government’s Work for the Dole risk assessment conducted for the Toowoomba site.
This request has also been rejected by Minister Cash because it contained information that could “harm” NEATO – Josh Park-Fing’s job agency.
By withholding this crucial information relating to the Work for the Dole tragedy, the Coalition is shamelessly trying to cover up Josh Park-Fing’s death to protect the already damaged reputation of the Work for the Dole program.
This is a national disgrace.
Work for the Dole is dangerous – last year injuries sustained at Work for the Dole sites increased 5 times. The government cannot guarantee the safety of unemployed workers forced to attend Work for the Dole programs.
Work for the Dole must be shut down.
In response to the Government’s disgraceful failure to provide answers over Josh Park-Fing’s death, the AUWU has launched its #Justiceforjosh campaign and is calling on Australians to call Minister Cash’s office to demand the release of the report and the risk assessment. Please share the facebook event throughout your networks.
Minister Cash’s contact details are below:
Parliamentary office: (02) 6277 7320
Electoral Office: (08) 9226 2000
The AUWU has also released a petition to demand the release of the report into Josh Park-Fing’s death and the Work for the Dole risk assessment.
The Turnbull government must take the necessary steps to investigate this program and ensure the safety of all Work for the Dole participants before another serious injury or death occurs at Work for the Dole.
If you are one of the 90,000 Australians currently participating in a Work for the Dole activity, the AUWU encourages you to assert your right to participate in a non-Work for the Dole activity – such as Voluntary Work or approved study – until your safety can be guaranteed. See here for more info or call the AUWU hotline on (03) 8394 5266.
Stay tuned for further actions demanding #JusticeforJosh