PRESS RELEASE 20/04/16
Death at Work for the Dole
Yesterday, an 18-year-old man died on his Work for the Dole site at the Toowoomba Showgrounds. The 18-year-old Meringandan man died after he fell from a flatbed trailer being towed by a tractor at the Toowoomba Showgrounds at about 12.20pm.
Queensland Ambulance advanced care paramedics tried to treat the man at the scene of the incident but were unable to stabilise him.
Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union (AUWU) President Owen Bennett is demanding that Coalition Government immediately abolish Work for the Dole.
“The Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union would like to extend its thoughts and sympathies to the family and friends who have suffered this tragic loss.
“The Government’s failure to ensure adequate safety measures are in place for all those in the Work for the Dole program have cost this man his life”, said Mr Bennett.
“It is clear that the Coalition Government can no longer guarantee the safety of workers at Work for the Dole sites.”
Bennett points to examples of unemployed workers being threatened with immediate suspension of their unemployment entitlement if they raised concerns about the safety of their Work for the Dole site.
“Was a tragedy like this only a matter of time in this punitive environment?
“Work for the Dole is dangerous. It is a billion dollar forced labour program which does not help people into work. It must be abolished immediately.”
Bennett is calling on the Trade Union movement and welfare advocacy groups to put pressure on the Government to abolish Work for the Dole.”
“Yesterday as this man died at his Work for the Dole site in Toowoomba, the AUWU held a forum in Melbourne where the ACTU President Ged Kearny, ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie and Jobs Australia CEO David Thompson all indicated that they wanted Work for the Dole abolished. It is now time to act swiftly to make sure nothing like this ever happens again”.
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