Nagoorin resident Bruce Oppel just wants to work, and feels he has been given little help from Centrelink in getting to a job interview.
Nagoorin resident Bruce Oppel just wants to work, and feels he has been given little help from Centrelink in getting to a job interview. JULIE-ANNE SCOTT

System fails keen jobseeker

BRUCE Oppel just wants to work.

The 58-year-old who has been a contract job trainer for 38 years with a mechanical fitter background is in between jobs at the moment.

He has applied for Centrelink benefits in the interim and applied for many jobs.

Last week he was offered a job interview as a trainer with a firm at Moranbah.

The interview is scheduled for tomorrow in Mackay but because Mr Oppel is not working he has no money to buy a suit or put petrol in his car to get to the interview.

He went to Centrelink to see if they could help him get to the interview.

Centrelink told Mr Oppel there was nothing they could do but employment agency Neato has done what it can, giving him a $70 fuel card to assist him get to Mackay.

“I want to work,” Bruce said.

“This job will mean I'll be able to support myself and not have to claim Centrelink benefits.

“I'm partially disabled after an accident and can sit back on the disability pension and do nothing if I want but I choose to work and support myself.”

Mr Oppel approached Centrelink about getting a $500 loan, which can be given to people who have been out of work for three months, however he does not fit the criteria.

“I'd happily pay the money back,” he said.

“I'm not asking for a hand-out just a hand up. I can't understand why there is nothing in the system to help people like me who want to work.”

Bruce approached Federal member for Flynn Chris Trevor's office and explained his dilemma to them.

They were looking into what they could do to help, however Mr Oppel had not heard back from Mr Trevor's office when he spoke to The Observer yesterday afternoon.

Mr Oppel said he would attend the interview but did not know whether he could make it back to Nagoorin.

“I can't let the opportunity pass by.”



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