working for the dole … it works

The Abbott Government’s recently announced Work for the Dole scheme was slammed by the usual commentators from the left, like Graham Richardson on Sky News, Unions and Labor politicians. “Wont work, never has” they yelled. They are so full of Focus on young jobless in Abbott government’s ‘enhanced’ work for

The ACTU has lashed the federal government for planning an “enhanced” work-for-the-dole program, warning

It’s better called ‘mutual obligation’, and it works.

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harvesting grass seed

I have been supervising WFD and Green Corps projects now for nearly 14 years, and have achieved major successes in both providing and finding paid jobs, and greening the environment. I can place 50 positions immediately the new policy becomes effective, where none of the activities would get done by paid workers, but the region would be better off.

Projects done here in the Kimberley have  improved the environment extraordinarily, landscaped and greened the suburbs, eliminated weeds in parks and bushland, from Kununurra to Onslow and Newman and every town in between. These towns and communities and mining companies have had the benefit of native seedlings supplied from Broome. Broome’s Aged Care facility has also benefited.

Pandanus palm seedlings

Pandanus palm seedlings

Now an indigenous organization is taking over and expanding operations, starting a new business, employing participants and working to bring  healthy streets to Kimberley and Pilbara towns. The sale of seedlings helps to cover much of the costs involved such as water power and administration. A large number of participants are now in full or part time employment.Cnv0024

We now have participants who volunteer to join up, they enjoy the activities, are not harassed or given ‘humbug’ in their overcrowded accommodation and benefit from training offered during their placement.

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Seedlings grown into large trees and shrubs by Work for the Dole ,,,

Some are well passed 50, some part disabled, and find it almost impossible to find jobs, but our activities cater for everyone who wants to pass the time helping collect and process seeds, eliminate weeds, sow the seeds, grow seedlings and landscape public verges. Of course, removing rubbish is part of it, which Labor politicians mocked. Get a life.

The Green Corps needs bringing back too after Labor canned the project. What Labor did instead was throw billions of taxpayer money down the tubes of carbon lies and globull warming boondoggles.

It's not all hard work, the camaraderie is a great boon to activities, here's a sausage sizzle for lunch ...

It’s not all hard work, the camaraderie is a great boon to activities, here’s a sausage sizzle for lunch … the cook is now a fully qualified diesel mechanic.

We have achieved much than they have, and just on the ‘smell of an oily rag’ from the taxpayer.

Here in Broome, we can cater for any expansion usefully, and other regions around Australia could easily use us as a template. Abbott government set to revive and expand work-for-dole scheme

The Liberal Government’s tough new plan will again make work-for-the-dole compulsory and anyone who

Work-for-the-dole could be expanded into aged care homes – ABC

All the above links contain photos, same taken from cameras purchased for participants. Just click to enlarge.

Green Corps and volunteers heading out at dawn to measure sea grass beds at low tide:

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Harvesting fruit dropped on ground …

About Tom Harley

Amateur ecologist and horticulturalist and CEO of Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Inc. (Tom Harley) Kimberley Environmental Horticulture Incorporated Kimberley Environmental Horticulture (KEH) is a small group of committed individuals who promote the use of indigenous plants for the landscaping of parks and gardens. Rehabilitation of Kimberley coast, bushland and pastoral regions are also high on our agenda. This includes planting seedlings, weed control, damage from erosion or any other environmental matter that comes to our attention. We come from all walks of life, from Professionals and Trades oriented occupations, Pensioners and Students, Public Servants and the Unemployed. We have a community plant nursery where we trial many old and new species, with a view to incorporating these into our landscaping trials. Our labour force are mainly volunteers, but with considerable help from the 'work for the dole' program, Indigenous Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) groups and the Ministry of Justice, with their community work orders; in this way we manage to train many people in the horticultural skills needed for indigenous plant growing. We constantly undertake field trips that cover seed and plant collection in the Kimberley. Networking around the Kimberley region and the east Pilbara is a necessary part of promoting our activities. We consult on a range of Environmental and Landscaping matters that deal with our region. Our activities involve improving Broome's residential streetscapes by including 'waterwise' priciples in planting out nature strips. Sustainable environmental horticulture is practised by members of our group. We use existing vegetation as the backbone of any plantings, using these species to advantage when planning to develop tree forms or orchards. The Broome region is sensitive to development. Subsequently many weed species have become dominant in and around developed areas. The use and movement of heavy machinery is the biggest single cause of environmental degradation. We dont live in a 'Tropical Paradise' but on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. The plants that survive best here, grow in well-drained pindan sand, and are found from the Dampier Peninsular southward to where average rainfall is below 600mm. When we use rainforest species, detail is important when planting, water catchment, sunlight and understorey species are all considered. The use of recycled 'grey' water is an advantage here as well as treated waste-water, although many local species do not fare well with nutrients from this source. We use waterwise planting methods which include harvesting asmuch rainwater as possible, with swales designed to hold up to 200 litres, to help recharge the local groundwater aquifer. There has been a serious decline in this aquifer over the last few years. With the fast expansion of the Broome peninsular, more and more land is being covered by concrete, iron and bitumen so that much less water is available to replenish the aquifer, allowing the salt content to become significantly higher. The small Broome Peninsular is on the south-western corner of the Dampier Peninsular (bound by Broome, Derby and Cape Leveque at the northern tip). Compaction by vehicles also inhibits water retention due to the content of our local pindan sand, hard as concrete in the dry, going to soft and sloppy mud after rain. None of us are botanists, inevitably we have got some names wrong, names changed, or have not gone to sub-species level. If you note a photo or description may be wrong, please e-mail to
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2 Responses to working for the dole … it works

  1. Pingback: working heros to zeros … | pindanpost

  2. Pingback: Conservation of the Kimberley … enrichment of the Savannah | pindanpost

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