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Robert
Australia-money for war.
Sun Jan 11 22:07:09 2004
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Disabled pensioners targeted for work


The federal government did not know how many disabled pensioners would be encouraged back into the work force in a new $840,000 trial program, Employment Services Minister Mal Brough said.

Under the six-month pilot scheme, Job Network providers will be offered cash to run advertising campaigns and employ staff to contact disability pensioners.

They will also be paid an incentive for each disabled pensioner placed in a job.

Mr Brough said he did not known how many of the 670,000 Australians on disability pensions would return to the workforce.

"That's a very difficult question to answer at the moment because this is a pilot program and what we're trying to do here is ascertain how effective our communication can be and how we can see what sort of attitudes are held within this wide group of people," he told ABC radio.

No type of disability would be targeted and participation would be voluntary, he said.

"That will help the labour market because we are at a 22-year-low in unemployment and we are requiring more people into the work force so this is a win-win situation," Mr Brough said.

"The government's very committed to allowing people to have every opportunity to work to their potential regardless of their situation.

"So if you're disabled, you shouldn't be left on the scrap heap."

The Australian newspaper said the government believed as many as 150,000 disabled pensioners would move off welfare and into jobs if the pilot scheme were expanded, potentially saving $1 billion a year in welfare payments.


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