Those Damn Bludgers

06 June 2012
In all the noise over the sex worker who claimed she'd serviced Craig Thomson until it turned out she hadn't - but not before A Current Affair aid $60,000 for her never-aired interview - there was another story tonight, overlooked but in its way, just as nasty as anything Mr Thomson is subjected to.

ACA reported with breathless outrage on dole bludgers on the Gold Coast, interviewing a small group of young women who cheerfully claimed they were happy being Centrelink bludgers. They didn't want to work, and they're not alone - the unemployment rate on the Gold Coast is 12%. A whole city full of these bludgers! Well, I was furious, and it seems I'm not alone - the young women in the story have received death threats on Facebook.

 My outrage lies with ACA though. Kids say silly things. Kids in groups say even sillier things. Kids in groups with a camera in front of them, being egged on by a TV producer coaching them to get the appropriately shocking line, say downright stupid things - things like bragging of how proud they are of being on the dole. Who knows if it's really true? We don't know what else was said, we don't know what led to these girls being out of work, or why the Gold Coast has such a high jobless rate (global tourism slump? No, just full of bludgers). Never mind, ACA rolls on, whilst these kids are left to deal with the fallout forever - the threats, the judgements, the story appearing whenever a potential employer Google searches their names, for years to come. The girls were embarrassed even when showed the tape a week later. How will they feel in five years? They could have no concept of the consequences of their actions.

A Current Affair knows. And yet instead of conducting any real journalism, they take the lazy way out, exploiting vulnerable kids to get a story. Damn bludgers.


  1. ACA money comes from advertising. That comes from wealthy corporations etc.
    There's money to be made in denying resources to the poor if you're someone that wants to hang onto the current unequal distribution of wealth in the world. Wealthy elites and the people toadying up to them.
    It's PR for a service slashing agenda, not news.

  2. Good grief it's those poor Paxton kids all over again. I saw the ad for this last night and felt sick, and had horrid flashbacks to that poor family and the hell they went through (and they're probably still tarred with the 'bludger' brush).

  3. The Paxtons were in mind as I wrote this - the fact we still remember them nearly twenty years on shows how far reaching this can be (and the Paxtons were Pre you tube Pre Facebook etc).

    You couldn't even call this a "new" low. But it is disgusting.


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