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‘The answer is yes’: Minister says climate protesters can be stripped of welfare

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The federal employment minister says illegal protesters can be stripped of welfare payments, but won’t say how or when.

Climate activists have been causing chaos in Brisbane for months but are now holding a week of action in major cities right across the country.

Extinction Rebellion has shut down roads and rail in dangerous and illegal protests, causing major public disruption and taking up significant police resources.

It’s since been revealed that several fund their lifestyle through government welfare payments, with one describing herself as a “full-time protester” and another admitting in court that he doesn’t work.

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash tells Alan Jones, “taxpayers should not be expected to subsidise the protests of others”.

“Protesting is not, and never will be, an exemption from a welfare recipients obligation to look for a job.”

Alan pushed the minister to answer whether these protesters can and will be stripped of government payments.

Alan: I’m going to ask you the question again, are these people on welfare? Do you know who they are? Will they be removed from welfare?

Minister Cash: If they’re on welfare and they’re choosing to protest, as opposed to attending a job interview, the answer is yes the system can identify them.

Alan: So when will the cheques stop?

Minister Cash: The system is set up to ensure we’re doing everything we can to get people off welfare and into work.

Alan: When will the cheques stop?

Minister Cash: There’s a system in place. If you’ve got a job offer and you say no then, quite literally, you will be in trouble.

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Minister Cash also spoke about the decision to make celebrity builder Scott Cam the first national careers ambassador.

The TV presenter is the face of a new campaign designed at getting more young people into vocational work.

Ms Cash says Cam will highlight how practical and technical training can lead to high-paying and fulfilling jobs.

“Scott himself undertook an apprenticeship about 30 years ago in carpentry. Look at where Scott Cam is now!”