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Australian Law and Politics

How Centrelink are causing domestic abuse in Australian families


Centrelink are a major contributor to domestic abuse in Australian families because of their antiquated laws, and it is time the Australian government stepped in and stopped it.

Under Centrelink law, if one partner in a relationship is working, the other partner is not entitled to any income support, or gets a drastically decreased amount.

This is incongruous with taxation law, which allows for each member of a partnership to be considered as an individual, and not as being dependent on the other partner. Those laws went out decades ago.

It is also incongruous with the expectations that modern Australian society holds.

Consider a disabled woman in an abusive relationship. Her husband works, but she is unable to. Under Centrelink law, she is not entitled to any income support, as her husband is expected to support her. She has no financial independence.

This means that she is completely at the mercy of her abusive husband, and often has to beg for money for simple things like food and the “right” to remain min the family home.

This is called economic coercion, and is now illegal in NSW, with other states soon to follow that lead.

This situation is happening in hundreds of thousand of households around Australia, mostly with women as the victims, but also with men.

It is not just with the disabled, but with any relationship where one partner is unable to work or unable to find work. In many situations, one partner will not allow the other to work.

In some situations, the working partner may not start out as abusive, but will develop a resentment of the non-working partner because finances are stretched to the limit.

The situation is even worse in relationships where neither partner is working.

Centrelink payments increased on 1st January 2023 to about $40 a day for a single person on Newstart, and even less for each partner in a relationship. This is well below the poverty level, which is about $70 a day.

Centrelink’s misguided view, dating back to the 1970s, is that it is cheaper for each partner to live in a relationship, because they can “pool resources.” This doesn’t have any credibility in modern society, where the cost of living, power prices, rents, and grocery bills are at all time highs.

This is an antiquated mindset in a world where financial independence is expected in all advanced societies, and it is time the Labor government stepped forward into the 21st century and fixed the problem.

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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