The Australian Government is reviving that old chestnut, the ‘Work for the Dole‘ scheme. Whether you think that’s good or bad, what bothers me are reports that work might include “rubbish collection, park maintenance and gardening and painting at aged care facilities.” (AAP) So gardening is now as skilled as rubbish collection??
Gardening may be something that anyone can LEARN to do, but I really object to it being portrayed as something so unskilled or unimportant that we should let loose armies of untrained workers on our parks and gardens, no doubt with some horribly destructive consequences.
I’m already seeing strimming/whipper-snipping around tree trunks, butchering pruning and precious perennials being ‘weeded’ out.
Besides, if you leave the slogans behind and look at the real evidence, it shows that ‘work for the dole’ schemes, as much as they sound like they’re a good idea, cost a fortune and don’t get people off the dole. And who picks up the tab for the damage?