5 July 2022, Vice Australia, John Buckley. Access the full article here.

The platform has become the source of widespread “fear and distress” among welfare recipients across the country

The Australian government is either technologically inept or “hates” poor people, one expert suggests, as countless job seekers continue to find themselves without access to new digital employment services more than 24 hours after launch. 

The government’s new employment platform, Workforce Australia, was launched on Monday and replaces the outgoing JobActive platform, which was shut down by the new Albanese government without a transition period or consultation from unemployment and welfare groups.

The platform also dispenses with the mutual obligations requirements that were baked into its predecessor in favour of a more gamified, automated Points Based Activation System (PBAS), which requires those seeking welfare benefits to complete a series of tasks in return for payments.

… it doesn’t matter, because sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice. So from the point of view of a citizen having to deal with this system, it looks like a government that hates you and is actively trying to hurt you.

– Justin Warren, tech analyst

Employment services survey

The Punishment for Profit report is based on hundreds of responses to surveys conducted by the Antipoverty Centre. This research is ongoing. If you are in Workforce Australia, Disability Employment Services or a similar program, we welcome any information you are able to share about your experiences.

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