Full-time protester booted off dole
AN indigenous full-time activist protesting the construction of a housing estate near Ipswich has been booted off her dole payment for failing to look for work.
The action taken by Centrelink will undoubtedly rattle other professional protesters who receive Newstart, especially those who embed themselves with militant climate change groups.
The Courier-Mail can reveal the woman, part of a group camping on the land at Deebing Heights, had her payment cut off by Centrelink for repeatedly snubbing her mutual obligations.
Jobs Minister Michaelia Cash today makes no apologies for Centrelink's stance, which gives numerous chances for welfare recipients to apply for work, turn up for job interviews, study, train or volunteer.
"The Government invests in Newstart because we believe in Australians' inherent drive to provide for themselves and their families, and to assist people looking for work,'' Senator Cash said.
"Taxpayers should not be expected to subsidise the protests of others.
"Protesting is not, and never will be, an exemption from a recipients' mutual obligation to look for a job.
"Our focus will always be to get people off welfare and in to work. Taxpayers expect nothing less. The Morrison Government strongly believes that the best form of welfare is a job."
The woman will receive Newstart - and get backpay - if she re-engages with her mutual obligations.
Frasers Property plans to build 925 homes at the site, about 10km south of Ipswich.
A development application for the site has been in place since 2015.
A portion of the land is part of the former Deebing Creek Mission, which is state heritage-listed and of cultural importance to some indigenous Australians. There will be no development on sites listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.
Traditional owners earlier this year started living on the land to stop trucks entering the area over fears it could disturb burial sites.
It comes as climate change activists - whose numbers swell up to 150 - are living at "Camp Nudja" on the Bogie River near Collinsville, where they receive training on how to properly chain themselves to infrastructure and what their legal rights are.
Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch said earlier this year he wanted welfare-dependent activists to have their Newstart given as a cashless debit card.
A number of activists, including those protesting against Adani, are unemployed, receive Newstart but spend weeks at the camp.