Sean Curran’s acting career is just starting but if the proposed changes to Newstart in the federal budget go ahead it might bring his ambitions to an abrupt end.
Newstart has played a critical role in his ability to find work.
“Without Newstart, I can’t afford public transport or clothing or the rent to stay in Sydney. No Newstart would mean moving back home and I’m lucky enough to have that support network in place,” Mr Curran said.
The proposed changes mean that under 30s who join the jobless queue will have to wait six months before they get government support and then only if they participate in the Work for the Dole scheme for 25 hours a week.
If they are still unemployed six months later, benefits will again stop for six months in an effort to encourage young Australians not to rely on handouts.
If voted in, the changes will kick in from January 2015.
The changes were a shock to Mr Curran and will affect his ability to devote himself to his craft.
“It’s no secret that employment within the acting industry is not guaranteed for actors,” Mr Curran said.
“Many acting jobs only last as long as tickets are selling for that one show.
“Without the safety net of Newstart to fall back on, many hopeful actors will be terrified to leave their jobs bartending and waiting tables in order to take on paid acting gigs.
“In other words, this is going to force a lot of young people to give up on their dreams.”
Mr Curran went to Cambewarra Public School and then Nowra High School.
He was performing in a handful of local productions, including Albatross Music Theatre Company’s Fiddler on the Roof, which sparked his interest in the stage.
“My acting career is really only beginning so I’m still yet to know how exactly I will be impacted by these changes.
“It certainly means I will have to be a lot more careful when it comes to holding onto a part-time job.”