Ken O’Dowd blasts welfare system

COMMUNITY MEETING: Ken O’Dowd speaks to Capella residents.
COMMUNITY MEETING: Ken O’Dowd speaks to Capella residents. Kelly Butterworth

WHEN Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd sat down for a community meeting in Capella, conversation turned from health to the role of people on the dole in the community.

"You won't get anyone on the dole coming to these sort of meetings, because they don't care about the community - they care about themselves and how they can screw the system," Mr O'Dowd told a group of 12 Capella residents.

He spent Monday in Tieri before heading to Capella, where topics discussed included the future of Australia Post, railway access, health and welfare recipients.

When Gina Rinehart was in Rockhampton recently, Mr O'Dowd said she aired her views about a flawed national welfare system.

"Her biggest whinge to me was 'Ken, you blokes in Canberra have got to stop the welfare system'," he said.

"There is 60% of Australians on some sort of welfare payment. She said, 'They can't be all that badly off'."

The Federal Government on Tuesday flagged an overhaul to a system where 550,000 people claim the Newstart Allowance.

With the disability and the NDIS, no-one wants to deny anyone with a disability any taxpayer money, but it's a fact that there are a lot of people on disability that shouldn't be on it

There are now 827,000 are on a disability pension.

A universal welfare payment was suggested, with top-ups for different need levels, eliminating multiple types of benefits.

"With the disability and the NDIS, no one wants to deny anyone with a disability any taxpayer money, but it's a fact that there are a lot of people on disability that shouldn't be on it," Mr O'Dowd said.

"That goes back to (former Prime Minister Paul) Keating's days when he wanted to make unemployment figures better, so he said 'half of you fellas on unemployment get on the disability pension', and with the disability pension comes carers so he doubled the problem."

Capella local John Hallam was at the meeting and he expressed his concern about future welfare payments.

"The largest population growth in Australia was the baby boomers, they're all getting pretty old now," he said.

"There's more and more people on some kind of benefit and less and less paying for that.

"All these doles and pensions have got to come from somewhere."

Mr O'Dowd said providing time for rural and regional constituents to have their say was "very important".

"Every area is slightly different, it's a grain-growing service town in Capella whereas Tieri is a pure mining town," he said.

Topics:  centrelink dole flynn ken odowd welfare

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Ball supports suicide prevention

Chris Wood, Matthew Attard, Noah Cookson, Jacki Larsen, Chantal Flor, Rob and Talia Cookson.

Hundreds turned out for this great cause

Plenty of things to do in the region in the coming week

CLEAN UP: Councillors Charlie Brimblecombe and Gail Godwin-Smith gear up for the Garage Sale Trail on 22 October.

Looking for something to do in the coming week?

Central Queensland to experience cool change

WEATHER: Summer storms rolling through.

Central Queensland will experience a cool change this weekend.

Local Partners

Emerald man was pilot of plane that crashed in CQ

11.45am: THE pilot involved in a light aircraft crash in Central Queensland yesterday is believed to be a man from Emerald.

Community garden set for Palmwoods

Kay Nixon at the Palmwoods Community Gardens will be hosting a launch day and inviting the ecommunity to come along and sign up.

Parcel of land to supply sustainable gardening for community

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Peter Pan comes to Emerald

Peter Pan comes to the Central Highlands.

Peter Pan flies in to the Central Highlands this month

Kristie doesn't mind being the third wheel in Survivor final

Kristie Bennett in a scene from Australian Survivor.

SOLO player will take on Survivor's power couple Lee and El tonight.

Scary hoping Posh and Sporty will re-join The Spice Girls

Mel B

Mel B hoping Victoria Beckham, Mel C will re-join The Spice Girls

REVIEW: Michael McIntyre has Brisbane in stitches

Michael McIntyre in a scene from his TV series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

BRITISH comedian is in the country on his Happy and Glorious Tour.

Cliff Richard doesn't need Rod Stewart's help with legal bills

Sir Cliff Richard

"'Don't worry, I'm loaded. I won't keep you to it.' "

Bindi Irwin named in MAXIM HOT 100 list

Wildlife Warrior named among Australia's most beautiful women

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals