RETIRED registered nurse Judy Petschulies has come up with a radical plan to fix Bundaberg's unemployment epidemic.
Mrs Petschulies created a stir on social media this week when she said double-income households were placing others at a disadvantage when, if they learnt to live within their means, could survive on a single income, thus freeing up jobs for others.
Her revelations angered many, but Mrs Petschulies stands behind her words.
"I am a 75-year-old woman, well educated. I have travelled and have a broad outlook on life," she said.
"What I was trying to say is that with the terrible unemployment figures that Bundaberg has, with some families having no one working at all, I feel it is unfair that there are families who have two members working.
"By two family members working, this takes away jobs from some of those who have no work at all."
The Apple Tree Creek resident said she was also against government handouts for expectant mums in the form of paid parental leave and childcare rebates.
"This money would be better spent in trying to alleviate the shortage of work," she said.
"I believe if you have children you should look after them yourself and not expect any handouts from anyone.
"If you cannot afford to have them, you don't have them."
Mrs Petschulies said it did not matter who in the household went to work, "as long as one is working and there is one there minding the children".
"Otherwise you have other people imposing their ideas on to your kids," she said.
"Are they being kind to them? Who knows. You'd like to think so, but none of us ever really know."
Mrs Petschulies said the problem was more far reaching than unemployment, with community groups unable to find volunteers as women headed to work.
"One Bundaberg high school with over 1000 students has been struggling to get a P&C committee - no one has any time to help out. I know one of their recent presidents was a single mum with no work while all these mums with paid work don't have any time, yet they expect their children to benefit from all the hard work these volunteers do. It's just not fair," she said.
Despite the backlash, "those with two working went ballistic and would not even think of the idea", Mrs Petschulies said she hoped she had given people something to think about and maybe touched a few nerves.
"If everyone was prepared to share around a little of their knowledge, their ideas and to help those less fortunate than ourselves, it would be a better world," she said.
"It worries me that people are really only thinking about themselves and not others as well."
Born in 1942, living off post-war rations with little money and toys, Mrs Petschulies said she had fond childhood memories to look back on in a family that loved one another.
"(We) had no electricity, so none of the mod-cons ... to now computers. Huge changes in that time," she said.
She was married at 22 and had two children. The family struggled to make ends meet, but made do without the luxuries.
Her husband then landed a job in the Pilbara and the family relocated.
Mrs Petschulies remembers the feeling of isolation that came with living in a mining town thousands of miles from family in Queensland where the climate was harsh, but says they made it through and the struggle pulled them closer together.
"Many people could not live there and left after only a few months. So you have to make sacrifices to succeed," she said.
She also said when the couple married in 1965 jobs were plentiful and often there were not enough workers to fill the positions. A stark contrast to today.
In the end, Mrs Petschulies said she just wanted people to consider their peers and give others a fair go.
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