Australia's top dole bludging suburbs revealed

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A man walks into a Centrelink, part of the Australian government's department of human services where job seekers search for employment, in a Sydney suburb, August 7, 2014. Reuters/Jason Reed

Latest figures have revealed Australia's top 10 dole bludger suburbs. Caboolture in Queensland is number one in the national list followed by Blacktown in Sydney's west.

New data indicates the amount of welfare recipients who have consistently failed to turn up to work-for-the-dole appointments or jobseeker interviews in 2016. Those from Blacktown are the second least likely to meet the requirements of their welfare conditions.

At least 333 residents in Blacktown fail to turn up to five or more appointments, according to The Daily Telegraph. Caboolture has 387 dole bludgers.

The third highest figure of dole bludgers belongs to Mildura in Victoria with 329 people who fail to turn up to five or more appointments. It is followed by Frankston in Melbourne's south-east and Deception Bay in Brisbane.

The newspaper also revealed 28,150 people in New South Wales failed to turn up to five or more job interviews or Centrelink appointments in the past year. Human Services Minister Alan Tudge said the government did not intend to embarrass the suburbs by publicising the list.

Tudge explained it is simply about pointing out where the figures lie. “Unfortunately, there are hotspots in this country,” he told Nine Network.

He added the numbers show the need for the government's proposal for a demerit point system. Those who score four demerit points will be required to enter the “three strikes” territory and deal with penalties, which include losing half their fortnightly payment for their first strike with no rational excuse.

Tudge pointed out that there are clearly suburbs in Down Under where there is a concentration of people who miss appointments and job interviews. They have no excuse for doing so.

For Radio 4BC host Ben Davis, talking about cracking down on punishing dole bludgers has been sickening and tiring. He insisted genuine penalties must be implemented, adding there has to be a big change.

Just 10 percent of those who were caught for welfare non-compliance were fined in the past year. News Local editor-in-chief Kathy Lipari argued it is “inexcusable” to take taxpayers on such a ride, stressing that a huge number of welfare recipients had missed welfare interviews in a year. She told Sunrise that the only thing these people will understand is when the payments stop coming through to their bank accounts.

Meanwhile, Nationals MP Andrew Broad assured there are job opportunities in his region. Broad’s Victorian electorate includes Mildura.

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