Nats MP doesn’t regret dole comments

A federal government MP is standing by his accusation that dole recipients are trying to “screw the system”.
Ken O’Dowd reportedly told a community forum in his central Queensland electorate of Flynn this week: “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

The MP’s remarks were made shortly before the announcement of a government review of welfare payments.

Mr O’Dowd also told the forum about a recent conversation he had with billionaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart, in which she voiced her concerns about the welfare system.

She told him that 60 per cent of Australians were on some sort of welfare payment, questioning whether they were all that “badly off”.

Mr O’Dowd was not taking a backward step on Thursday as his remarks received wider coverage than a local newspaper.

But he insisted his accusation was aimed at long-term unemployed people receiving the disability support pension who “deliberately try to be on the dole”.

“People who are fit and able to work, they are the people who are trying to screw the system,” he said.

Mr O’Dowd said he knew first-hand of people who preferred to be on the dole and who made unfair dismissal claims when they were sacked from jobs.

“These are the sort of people they’ve got to crack down on.”

The MP said welfare recipients in his electorate could take on jobs now done by seasonal workers and backpackers.

Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews said Mr O’Dowd’s comments did not reflect the government’s position.

January 15th, 2019 Beirut suicide attack kills four people


The official National News Agency said the attack appeared to be a suicide bombing.

“Body parts apparently belonging to a suicide bomber were at the scene,” it said.

The attack took place on a busy commercial street in the Haret Hreik neighbourhood in southern Beirut.

“The explosion took place on Al-Arid street in Haret Hreik,” Hezbollah’s Al-Manar news station reported.

The street was targeted by a suicide car bombing in early January.

An AFP photographer at the scene saw troops and Hezbollah security men deployed as firemen worked to put out the flames and health workers transported the injured to nearby hospitals.

The blast is the sixth in a string targeting areas considered strongholds of Hezbollah since the group announced it was sending fighters to support President Bashar al-Assad’s troops in neighbouring Syria.

And it is the third to hit the group’s strongholds in a month.

Less than a week ago, a car bomb exploded in Hermel, a town in the eastern Bekaa valley, killing three people.

And on January 2, a suicide car bombing hit the street targeted on Tuesday, Al-Arid in southern Beirut, killing five people.

The Hermel attack was claimed by Al-Nusra Front in Lebanon — an apparent franchise of the jihadist group fighting in Syria.

The earlier attack against the southern suburbs was claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Al-Nusra Front is Al-Qaeda’s official arm in Syria, and ISIL has its roots in Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Lebanon has suffered a spike in violence since the war in Syria broke out, with the frequency of attacks rising in recent weeks.

Local television channels broadcast footage of scores of firemen working to put out a blaze, as scores of people gathered at the scene of the blast.

First pictures of bombing in #Beirut southern neighborhood of Haret Hreik. #Lebanon

— Alexander Marquardt (@MarquardtA) January 21, 2014

An #explosion southern suburbs in #beirut #bombing @ALJADEEDNEWS上海按摩服务

— Yumna Fawaz (@yumnafawaz) January 21, 2014