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Australian Law and Politics

Centrelink legislation is in drastic need of reform


The Social Security Act and Social Security (Administration) Act each contain over 1,000 sections, most of which are designed to deny people payments, and many of which are in contradiction to other legislation.

Lottery wins, insurance payments and inheritances, when paid in more than one payment, are not classified as income by the Australian Taxation office, but they are by Centrelink. This affects tens of thousands of people on Centrelink benefits each year, right across Australia.

The legal age for voting is 18, but Centrelink expect parents to support their children until they are 22.

That is, of course, unless the parent is receiving a carer’s payment for a disabled child, in which case Centrelink consider the child an adult at age 16, and carer’s payment is cancelled.

Carers for disabled people are paid about $400 a week to care for people with disabilities, about $10 an hour. If they decide to supplement this with other work, their carer’s payment is reduced or cancelled. Centrelink consider their payment to be welfare, whereas it is actually a job.

Taxation law considers each partner in a relationship to be financially independent, as it should be. However Centrelink considers that if one person in the relationship is working, the benefits of the other partner are reduced or cancelled.

This means the non-working partner is completely dependent on the working partner, and has no financial independence. The result for tens of thousands of men and women is domestic violence in the form of economic coercion.

MPs elected prior to 2004 are able to collect a hefty pension for life, and still work full time in high paying jobs, but Centrelink cancels payments to aged pensioners if they dare to get a job. The aged pension was set up in the 1940s as a reward for working and paying taxes, but Centrelink now regard it as welfare.

These are just a few of the examples of how Centrelink works against Australia’s most vulnerable, and it is time Human Services Minister Amanda Rishworth did her job and amended this legislation.

Note: I would be interested to hear from other people about their experiences with Centrelink. You can send me an email – contact@craighill.net

While I cannot promise that I can help in all situations, I can certainly give you the contact details of those that can, and I will do as much as I can.

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The costs of campaigning for changes to government legislation are considerable. If you appreciate this work, please consider donating so we can continue operating in this area.

The money raised will be spent on campaigning to state and federal MP s, as well as newspapers and other media across Australia, to improve social justice for all.

Please bear in mind that while I am a business consultant, I only work part time due to also being a disabled pensioner. I intend to take these matters to court, but that takes time and money.

Any money raised through donations will be kept in a separate bank account to cover these costs.

I would also welcome any help from legal professionals, or professionally qualified volunteers who are willing to assist.

The costs of campaigning for changes to government legislation are considerable. If you appreciate this work, please consider donating so we can continue operating in this area.

The money raised will be spent on campaigning to state and federal MP s, as well as newspapers and other media across Australia, to improve social justice for all.

Please bear in mind that while I am a business consultant, I only work part time due to also being a disabled pensioner. I intend to take these matters to court, but that takes time and money.

Any money raised through donations will be kept in a separate bank account to cover these costs.

I would also welcome any help from legal professionals, or professionally qualified volunteers who are willing to assist.

The costs of campaigning for changes to government legislation are considerable. If you appreciate this work, please consider donating so we can continue operating in this area.

The money raised will be spent on campaigning to state and federal MP s, as well as newspapers and other media across Australia, to improve social justice for all.

Please bear in mind that while I am a business consultant, I only work part time due to also being a disabled pensioner. I intend to take these matters to court, but that takes time and money.

Any money raised through donations will be kept in a separate bank account to cover these costs.

I would also welcome any help from legal professionals, or professionally qualified volunteers who are willing to assist.

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About Craig Hill

Social Justice Campaigner. Business and Education Consultant. Former Business/ESL Teacher. Lived in China and USA. Dealing with disability. My articles have been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and many other international publications.

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