Media Release by Senator the Hon Anne Ruston

Lifting mutual obligation requirements for bushfire affected areas in Western Australia

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
    Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business

The Morrison Government will continue to support Western Australian communities devastated by bushfires, as they look to rebuild and recover. 

The Government is supporting job seekers impacted by the Western Australian bushfires through suspending mutual obligation requirements until 2 March 2021 for the following Local Government Areas: 

  • City of Swan 
  • Town of Mundaring 
  • Shire of Chittering 
  • City of Northam. 

These arrangements apply to all job seekers in jobactive, Online Employment Services, Disability Employment Services and participants in the ParentsNext program. 

This announcement means job seekers will not be penalised for being unable to either attend, or report their attendance, at appointments or activities. Payments will not be suspended and no compliance action will be taken. Job seekers in these regions who are in a position to continue their search for employment are encouraged to do so. 

We are conscious of the enormous challenge of rebuilding the bushfire devastated communities. Australians are resilient and want to rebuild – and we will be with them every step of the way. 

The Government recognises this continues to be a challenging time for those in Western Australia, including those looking for work and encourages jobseekers to access the full range of assistance available to them – including referral to relevant support services – such as mental health services, if required.

Special Circumstances Exemptions from mutual obligation requirements continue to be available through Services Australia for job seekers who require them, including for those directly impacted by COVID-19, or those who have been impacted by the bushfire crisis in Western Australia. 

Mutual obligations will return in all other Local Government Areas in Western Australia from 10 February 2021. 

Job seekers who have concerns about their mutual obligation requirements should talk to their employment services provider, or they can contact the Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s National Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260 or at

These temporary arrangements will continue to be reviewed regularly. 

More information about mutual obligations requirements can be found at