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As COVID-19 supplements are rolled back, Peter Shnek just wants a job

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Shnek lives alone in a rented apartment in Epping, in Melbourne’s north, and has worked for decades in an eclectic range of jobs: gardener and maintenance worker, electronics technician for Ericsson, truck driver, storeman, fence builder and courier.

While Shnek has always wanted a stable, long-term job, he’s ended up working for a string of businesses that have gone bust.

“I’ve had bad luck,” he says, shaking his head.

In March, Shnek began receiving the federal government’s fortnightly $550 coronavirus supplement. It effectively doubled his JobSeeker unemployment benefits.

Shnek’s motorcyle helmets.Credit:Chris Hopkins

“It gave me enough to pay the rent and bills without sweating,” he says.

But the payment has…



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