Australian Politics International Nah… The Government Wouldn’t Do That!

Earn or Learn and the affects of the LNP NBN

For many on the Disability Support Pension (DSP), to earn or learn is a challenge. Usually to earn is impossible both physically and psychologically. However, many take up the option to participate in online distance education, to gain a university degree from home. The participation in such an activity is beneficial to the student, the disabled person, even if they can never enter the workforce to utilise those skills.

The benefits gained from online learning can appear to some outsider’s as wasteful and it can appear that way to the new distance education, flexible online student for the first year or even more. But then the student finds a passion in their learning and unlike many others who gain a degree or three to secure their economic futures, the disabled learn for learning’s sake, they learn to secure their psychological futures.

Distance education can literally mean the difference between life and death for some, the death of their brain cells, the death of their life as they knew it, the death of their ability to function in the world at all. For the disabled, a definition of life, the life that is gained from their online distance education, is indefinable. It is a very personal accomplishment that could barely be explained to many.

Carers may not understand the depth of healing that online University education brings to the disabled in their care, but they see it in practice if not in action.

So imagine if you will, a government whose rallying call is ‘Earn or Learn’ and then that same government takes away the one thing that is a life line to many disabled students, they reduce the National Broadband Network, the NBN Co, to dialup speeds. The footnote to Open Universities Australia study units is that a ‘broadband connection is a must.’ Those just beginning to enter the online learning community will find it very hard to download their studies, PDFs, MP3s, MP4s amongst other study materials.

Those who have been studying under the Australian Labor Parties (ALP) progressive NBN Co have been frustrated by the reduction in Internet speeds across Australia due to a regressive attack on this major ALP infrastructural project.

This frustration can be detrimental to the psychological health of many, this reduction does not just affect this one small sector of the Australian community, it affects those Australians who cannot afford more than $30 a month on an Internet connection. I am sure if DSP recipients began paying upwards of $100 a month for an Internet connection that they would be demonised for such a waste of money, as many Australians who have a Pay TV connection are socially vilified by social workers and other onlookers peeping in through the key hole to see what they can see.

This mindset must change.

When the government of the day make comments such as “people can watch TV on the Internet” and then that same government proceeds to cut the Internet speeds to between 56k bits right down to 12k bits, things must change.
A DSP or any welfare recipient, any of the working poor or even those we are told are middle class, which are really for the most part no better off than the working poor, cannot use this thing that used to be an Internet connection to apply for, or to search out jobs. Welfare recipients are unable to access the government’s Internet pig of a website, Human resources, to which they are forced to use on the Internet connection provided by the same government.

Oxymoron thy name is Liberal Nationals of Australia.

But as always, this is JMO


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