Jobless after 45 years and given just $100 a week to live on
HE HAS worked for 45 years, but now Graham Banks is jobless and expected to live on $100 a week.
Mr Banks, 63, wanted to tell his story to emphasise how hard it is for older, experienced workers to find a job.
"There's not much help out there," he said.
Mr Banks, who has worked as a welder and in maintenance, injured his back but after extensive chiropractic treatment he said he was back on his feet.
But when he told his employer about a month ago he would have to look after his back in future he was told there was no longer a job for him.
So Mr Banks went to Centrelink for help finding a new job.
"It was so embarrassing going there for a start," he said.
Mr Banks said he was told at Centrelink all he was eligible for was $200 a fortnight.
But he said he did not see how he could live on that.
"Do I let the rego go on my ute and drive it unregistered?" he said.
"I can't even afford to go to the doctor."
He said when his savings had gone he would not be able to afford to pay for power, petrol or food.
Mr Banks said it was tough working for 45 years and then ending up the way he had.
"Your own government doesn't want to help you," he said.
Mr Banks said finding work was difficult unless you knew someone.
He has applied for jobs and was told he was on the short list for one, but that was the last he heard.
"I've got to do something," he said.
"I feel like, who's going to put on a 63-year-old?"
Mr Banks said another difficulty was he had paid for airfares and accommodation for him and his wife for two weeks in Bali in September to see his grand-daughter get married.
"I can see it's difficult for someone to give you a job and then right away you say you want to take leave," he said.
Mr Banks said he was thinking about starting to mow lawns.
"I've always thought about doing a bit of lawn mowing and maintenance," he said.
"Two lawns in a week is more than I'll get on the dole."