The Morrison Government has fired a warning shot at dole bludgers, threatening to cut benefits to job seekers if they refuse, with-out good reason, to take-up jobs offered on farms.
“This is about doing everything we can to ensure Australian jobs are being filled by Australians,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
“Our government has heard from farmers across the country about how tough it is right now to find workers, particularly at the height of harvest season for some crops.”
But in doing so, the Government also said they would consider examining options for additional overseas workers, if needed.
“Where we cannot find Australians to do the work, we cannot allow the fruit to rot,” Mr Morrison said.
“We will back our farmers and make arrangements through our Pacific Island worker and migration program to get the job done.”
The Government will consider adjustments to the Seasonal Worker Programme, Pacific Labour Scheme and Working Holiday Maker visa arrangements to help fill the gap.
They say their first priority, however, is tackling the local labour shortage which also ensures job seekers on taxpayer support have no excuse to refuse opportunities.
To achieve this, the Government is calling on farmers with job needs in regional Australia, such as short-term harvesting, and jobseekers to get in contact with the National Harvest Labour Information Service.
In a crackdown, the Government says they will ensure rules and penalties are enforced.
A jobseeker could suffer a four-week suspension under existing rules.
A person registered with Jobactive that does not have a reasonable excuse for not accepting a suitable job offer could suffer the consequences.
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2018