Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Job Network scamsters

It is difficult to believe that the Slavos are the only, or even a notable perpetrator of this type of scam. Given that not-for-profit operators would now be servicing a minority of Job Network indentured "customers", it is a reasonable supposition that the majority-reaching, for-profit Job Network operators have/are committing scams at least as egregious.

No doubt Sarina Russo et al have better departmental/political (although arguably there’s hardly a difference between them these days) Canberra connections than the not-for-profits, not to mention much less likelihood of internal whistleblowers dwelling within their ranks. (From personal experience, the dollar-driven culture among Sarina Russo staff makes McDonalds’ “fries with that?” upselling look like Soviet supermarket counter-service).

But the odds of this expose extending to, and so catching bigger fish are zero, of course. As long as you’re engaged to hammer the unemployed – and do actually do so – fiscal fraud that would otherwise be a serious criminal offence will, at worst, be resolved by a gentlemanly repayment arrangement. (You know, like when you drive off from a servo without paying, with $9m+ of petrol in your tank. Whoops! But don’t panic – the servo operator wouldn’t dream of causing you any public embarrassment over such an oversight, much less calling the police.)

Also happily defrauding taxpayers, without any apparent shame or a legal care in the world, is Hillsong, Sydney’s gay-hating white-trash “church” of choice. Apart from what’s revealed in the Oz article, I reckon that this Hillsong press-release itself inadvertently gives the game away:

The Block in Redfern will be the platform for showcasing the talents of Indigenous youth at the annual ‘Stomp at the Block’ dance competition being held this Saturday . . .

The dance competition has been organised by Hillsong Emerge with extensive support from the community support [sic], and is a continuation of its existing community work in the area.

“Stomp at the Block is being held in celebration of the Indigenous culture and also the surrounding community,” said Leigh Coleman, CEO of Hillsong Emerge. “This event gives opportunity for Young People [sic] to showcase their creativity and talent, strengthening relationship and building unity in the community.”

“There is a lot of support from the community. Schools are involved, along with different Indigenous and local personalities,” Mr Coleman said.

The inaugural event was held last year and . . . also attracted a great deal of support.

Did you get that? I think there’s a bit of community (!) support (!) behind the dance competition. Like, wow, some Redfern kids might actually be entering it. Whatever the whole thing cost Hillsong (I’d guess a few thou), it and the six micro-loans to Indigenous people totalling $17,500 appear to be the only part of the taxpayers’ $611,000 that didn’t flow into Hillsong’s own, very non-Indigenous coffers.

Like having a Job Network contract, Hillsong’s 60-pax-annual-dolesworth lurk is indeed nice “work” if you can get it.

paul - the $17,500 or so in loans doesn't really "flow out" to anybody. As a LOAN it flows back in so the only gov.au $ not recovered go to Hillsong Holy Rollers GST Free Scam
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