Nigel Scullion defends plan to 'buy' Indigenous jobs with $10,000 financial sweeteners

This news is part of the cunning little plan that Tony Abbott, Colin Barnett and Andrew (Twiggy) Forrest have slowly been putting place for the past two years. A plan for government to hand out large sums of money to the big mining companies and forcing Aboriginal people into the mines. Closing down the communities will save the government $50m and that can be paid directly to the mining companies for 'offering their services' to the unemployed - and with displaced people from the communities living on the streets the government can be forced to work in the mines or starve. This plan of Twiggy's includes government money for training Aboriginal prisoners as well, so there will be no way of escape through the back door.

Andrew Forrest and Nigek ScullionNigel Scullion and Warren Mundine are not the major players in the Abbott/Barnett/Forrest plan but they have their role

Anna Henderson The Australia 20 March 2015

Businesses that employ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff will be provided with financial sweeteners of up to $10,000 by the Federal Government.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion said the Government wants to achieve a 2020 target of creating jobs for 20,000 Indigenous Australians.

He acknowledged some might see it as "buying" jobs, but maintained it would be much cheaper than paying unemployment benefits to people who were not working.

"This isn't a cost, this is an investment," he told the ABC.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data on Indigenous jobs has measured the unemployment rate at almost 21 per cent, more than three times higher than the national average.

It also found just under half of Indigenous Australians between the ages of 15 and 64 are in work.

Senator Scullion said most, but not all, of the jobs that would be created would be full-time positions.

He said the $10,000 payments were needed to help employers cover the additional costs associated with hiring and keeping Indigenous staff, "many of whom are disadvantaged job seekers".

He said the Government was working with the nation's biggest companies and businesses with a proven track record of employing large numbers of Indigenous workers to achieve the targets.

Barnett, Abbott, Forrst and Mundine
Paying a mining magnate to review of 'Indigenous disadvantage' through 'welfare reform' and write up recommendations to the government is about as crooked as you could get

Similar programs have been criticised in the past for providing training without leading to a long-term job, but the Government insists this proposal is different and the 26-week training period sets workers up for a long-term future.

"This is not training for training's sake," Senator Scullion said.

"Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders tell me that they can wallpaper their lounge room with certificates, but there's no jobs."

If all prospective workers were eligible for the full incentive, it would cost the budget $200 million, but it is not expected that the maximum amount will be paid every time.

The money will come out of the existing Indigenous Affairs budget and through funds allocated for the Indigenous Employment Program (IEP).

Earlier this week the Government announced a public sector proposal to increase the number of Indigenous staff working in the public service and to provide more opportunities for Indigenous companies to benefit from Commonwealth tenders.