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Lifting mutual obligation requirements for Bushfire affected areas in Australia

A striking silhouette image of two firemen called to an Australian bushfire blaze that started at night time. The men are discussing their plans for controlling the blazing flames.
Two fire fighter men rescue workers at night blaze. Photograph taken in small outback Queensland country village called Kalbar on the Scenic Rim, Australia.

The Australian Government will support Western Australian communities devastated by bushfires, as they look to rebuild and recover.

The Government is supporting job seekers impacted by the Western Australian bushfires through suspending mutual obligation requirements until 2 March 2021 for the following Local Government Areas:

  • City of Swan
  • Town of Mundaring
  • Shire of Chittering
  • City of Northam.

These arrangements apply to all job seekers in jobactive, Online Employment Services, Disability Employment Services and participants in the ParentsNext program.

This announcement means job seekers will not be penalised for being unable to either attend, or report their attendance, at appointments or activities. Payments will not be suspended and no compliance action will be taken. Job seekers in these regions who are in a position to continue their search for employment are encouraged to do so.

“We are conscious of the enormous challenge of rebuilding the bushfire devastated communities. Australians are resilient and want to rebuild – and we will be with them every step of the way.” according to the press release.

Special Circumstances Exemptions from mutual obligation requirements continue to be available through Services Australia for job seekers who require them, including for those directly impacted by COVID-19, or those who have been impacted by the bushfire crisis in Western Australia.

Mutual obligations will return in all other Local Government Areas in Western Australia from 10 February 2021.

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