Keywords: sustainable development, mutual obligation, Work for the Dole, Green Reserve, Green Corp, greening, employment policy, environment, Australia
Sustaining employment: mutual obligation, the environment and Work for the Dole
The 'Work for the Dole Green Reserve' programme draws from the policy frameworks of Mutual Obligation and Sustainable Development. This paper explores the effectiveness of the Green Reserve, and similarly conceived Work for the Dole programmes, by critically exploring the two frameworks in which they are situated and from which they draw. The paper contends that some of the conceptual and political limitations of Mutual Obligation and Sustainable Development combine to undermine the effectiveness of Work for the Dole programmes such as the Green Reserve. A gap often emerges between the rhetoric of these policy frameworks and their tangible achievements in practice. When this occurs, the end result can be that neither employment nor environmental objectives are significantly advanced. In order to enhance these environmental and employment objectives, the paper recommends some alternative approaches towards greening and strengthening mutual obligation.