Thousands of Aussies ditch work to live on public purse

THOUSANDS of Australians are turning down jobs so they can live on Centrelink, as workers turn up their nose at physical jobs like picking fruit.

Some regions, including Coffs Harbour in New South Wales are even accused of having just as many on welfare as in actual employment, according to Human Services Minister Alan Tudge.

The Daily Telegraph reports that more than 35,000 Australians have turned down job offers or quit a new role to go back on the dole.

That included 22,000 who quit work to return to welfare payments, and 10,000 who were sacked for misconduct, which included unapproved leave from work.

"We are fortunate to have a strong social security system for when people are down on their luck, but it must be a safety net, not a destination," Mr Tudge told News Corp.

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