Oh dear, John Howard’s government is in real trouble now. With a $20 billion local government sector in the national economy Howard can’t find 50 real jobs to pay for rubbish collection.

Four weeks after the Prime Minister declared his priorities for Indigenous affairs – education and reducing the twenty-year gap in life expectancy – junior Parliamentary Secretary Greg Hunt has dropped Coalition plans for Indigenous peoples into the bin by proposing to offer Indigenous communities incentives to clear away rubbish as part of the Keep Australia Beautiful campaign.

Aided by the Political Editor of The Australian and with misleading grabs about the policies of a certain Mayor in New York, Hunt has vaporised real jobs within Aboriginal communities across the country.

How is it that places like Mt Morgan and Hill End pay real people real wages for local government jobs such as rubbish collection, yet towns such as Wadeye and Ernabella can’t? Who can explain this mystery where real jobs continually morph into volunteer responsibilities or, even worse, ‘shared responsibility agreements’?
Wouldn’t it be better for the Federal government to affirm the value of a fair wage for a fair day’s work?

Most Australians share a belief in the value of honest work and the work ethic. Because that’s what we’re talking about here – fair work and a fair wage.

Greg Hunt may be a job snob by discounting the contribution of everyday Australians working jobs within the hundreds of local councils around Australia but I won’t. Local councils play a critical role in towns and cities across Australia. It is an extraordinary admission of failure that Hunt can’t find real jobs for rubbish collection from within the $20 billion local government sector. Instead of job creation Hunt has leapt into job destroying. It’s preposterous to suggest that local government jobs be made voluntary. Imagine trying that idea out in Penrith.

The Coalition’s latest musings have less to do with rubbish and more to do with values. The Coalition doesn’t believe in the the real value of real jobs in places where Indigenous peoples could make an honest living.