Income change sparking doubt
THE Queensland Council of Unions says the federal government failed to consult widely in the Rockhampton community before including the region in expanded income management plans.
QCU Secretary Ron Monaghan said the federal government had ignored local people and businesses when it introduced "Stronger Futures" legislation into Parliament recently.
In the plan, people who volunteer or who are referred by a Centrelink social worker will have a large percentage of their income support and family assistance payment income managed to spend on essential items, including food, clothing and housing costs.
The QCU has organised a public forum in Logan today, the other area it says the government failed in its consultation process, to discuss the situation.
Mr Monaghan said the QCU didn't believe the legislation would benefit the communities.
He said small businesses in Rockhampton would also suffer if local incomes were reduced or managed.
"We have warned the federal government that it is charging ahead without properly talking to representatives from these communities - not only indigenous communities but those from migrant communities," he said.
Despite the mining boom, Rockhampton has a higher unemployment rate than the national average.
Rockhampton and the other trial sites were chosen based on a number of factors, including unemployment levels, youth unemployment, skills gaps, the numbers of people receiving welfare payments, and the length of time people have been on income support payments.
Source: Australian Government