In the Illawarra, significant benefit was achieved from work-for-the-dole programs.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics says more than 60per cent of people unemployed for more than 12 months receive benefits for more than 10 years.
However, participating in local work-for-the-dole programs reduced this figure by more than half.
So, not only have participants but also our community benefited.
This included projects like the restoration of the gun emplacements at Flagstaff Hill and Cliff Road, enjoyed by many on Australia Day and at other local events.
Other local work-for-the-dole projects included repairing trails at Mt Keira Scout Camp and providing staff for charity opportunity shops.
These achievements were gained through the involvement of local organisations with broad community and business networks.
As the current local Job Service Australia providers are commercial organisations, or national-statewide non-profit groups, lacking extensive local community and industry networks, it is to be hoped that the minister enables the previously successful local providers to tender for the revised work-for-the-dole program.