Human services minister Alan Tudge confirmed to BuzzFeed News he wants to give Centrelink and frontline unemployment service providers the power to deny Newstart payments to young people if they don't turn up for job search appointments or back-to-work training programs.
Under the government's $96 million Try, Test and Learn fund, announced last week, state and territory and non-government agencies can apply for funding to provide services to young unemployed people to get them into work.
These programs are similar to previous work for the dole initiatives, and unlike the government's proposed PaTH internships, won't be providing young people with any extra money.
“Everything we are trying to do is to get people into the workforce, where they have got the capability to do so," Tudge told BuzzFeed News.
Tudge said he was inspired to introduce the welfare crackdown measure when he visited Productivity Bootcamp, a construction course for young unemployed people that aims to place them in work after eight weeks of onsite training, in Western Sydney last week.
Owner Paul Breen told Tudge the program had a 90% success rate – but occasionally students don't turn up.
The minister suggested the most effective way to get unemployed young people to show up was to enforce real world consequences such as cutting welfare payments.
"Because some people simply do not want to step up to the plate," he said.
"Many people have told me that there are too many loopholes allowing young people to avoid their work obligations and this is not in their interests, or the community’s."
The minister said the government's approach is based on three steps: creating as many opportunities as possible for young people to find a job; assisting people to overcome barriers to get work; and compliance.