Singles, disabled furious
RAYMOND Munro has never been flooded with so many emails.
As the paraquad Coffs Coast representative, and as a member of the Local Disability Advisory Committee, Mr Munro is furious about the welfare-to-work legislation which passed through parliament on Tuesday, and he's not alone in his concern.
Under the law, single parents and disabled people face new work obligations under a massive overhaul of Australia's welfare system from July, 2006.
The laws represent the biggest change to our welfare system where 'capable' single parents and disabled people will work at least 15 hours a week.
"I have received about 400 emails from groups concerned," Mr Munro said.
"It is not that I am against people with a disability working, most would love to work, but I don't like the fact many will be forced."
The manager of Key Employment, Chris Worboys, finds award-based employment for people with disabilities from Iluka to Macksville.
He said his business could find employment for many people with disabilities and the new legislation could help his organisation grow.
"I have concerns about removing the voluntary nature of people looking for work though," Mr Worboys said.
"At the moment I don't know whether it will work because we don't know enough about the laws just yet, I am a bit ambivalent."
Opposition Senate leader Chris Evans warned on Tuesday that the changes would punish people coming on to welfare next year.
Around 111,000 sole parents, 60,000 disability pensioners, and about 23,000 others are expected to be moved from pensions onto the lower Newstart Al- lowance by 2008.