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Australian Law and Politics

Centrelink are in the firing line, and it’s about time


My recent article The aged pension is not welfare has now been read by nearly 40,000 people in just two days, and I have received emails from over 100 people having problems with Centrelink. The response has been overwhelming.

I have responded to many of these emails, and will respond to all of them over the next couple of days. Please bear with me, as it is a huge task, and I am just one man.

Senator Penny Wong has provided me with a list of Labor duty senators in each state that people in non-Labor electorates can contact if they are having problems with Centrelink.

I will send these contact details to each and every person that has contacted me, along with the contact details of the free Welfare Rights Centre in the appropriate state.

I have also received emails from law students, former Centrelink staff, welfare workers and others offering to help out, and I will endeavour to set up a network as time goes by.

The general context of the emails is that Centrelink routinely deny payments, with hundreds of excuses as to why people aren’t eligible.

Even when people are eligible, the process seems to be intrusive and lengthy. Most people state they feel like giving up their application because it is so difficult, and the rewards are usually a mere pittance, not even enough to survive on.

My heart goes out to these people, as I have been through the same process myself, as have millions of people throughout Australia.

All I can say is don’t give up. Welfare is a right for all Australians who need support.

Contact your local MP or Labor duty senator. I will publish the contact details as soon as I get a chance, but you can find them at www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members.

You can also contact a free Welfare Rights Centre in your state, who can give you legal advice. I will publish the contact details in the near future.

You can send me an email at contact@craighill.net

It is up to your MPs and Senators to make changes to the legislation so all Australians get a fair go.

And it is up to all Australians to contact these MPs and senators, and get them to do their jobs. Australia is counting on you.

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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.

Discussion

22 thoughts on “Centrelink are in the firing line, and it’s about time

  1. I was needing Centrelink for a while , I am not anymore they are a NIGHTMARE.
    When the Robodebt issue was around I got caught up with that they were BARBARIC.
    They have to CHANGE the way they TREAT PEOPLE IN NEED They treat PEOPLE IN NEED LIKE
    RUBBISH ,and have done so for a LONG LONG TIME

    Posted by Kim | January 6, 2023, 10:31
  2. Please update me on your fight with Centrelink👍
    Kind Regards
    Anne

    Posted by Annabelle | January 6, 2023, 12:53
  3. I was caring for my mum with dementia whilst I was terminal with liver disease & Centrelink payed me as a carer, yet I was terminal & was entitled to a carer myself, yet I received no help or extra money, infact they even sent me a bill for overpayment. I cared for her for over 3yrs, & because she was placed in a nursing home a couple of mths, I wasn’t entitled to any payments from mums pension, not even for the funeral.
    I was lucky enough to get a Transplant, & was in hospital for 8days & went straight back to caring for mum, I had used up all my respite hours. & I was told by the nursing home that I had to get her, as the funding was finished & they wouldn’t keep her, even under the circumstances.

    Posted by Michael Faucett | January 6, 2023, 14:57
  4. and the rights of the tax payer??

    Posted by turts | January 7, 2023, 06:22
  5. Required assistance while looking for a new job. The amount of paperwork and information I needed to supply was intrusive and overwhelming. Was given different advice and info by different people at Centrelink. I gave up my application.

    Posted by Laurine | January 7, 2023, 06:35
  6. I am 57, don’t get anything from centrelink, my husband works, we live on $15000 ayear. I have a crushed spine, anxiety and other issues. We also support our adult children. I went about 5 years ago to try to get a healthcare card and was told to get mental help. My daughter had a baby in September, and only just getting centrelink in January now. I have been paying her bills. We went there many times and was told on the phone that no one in the Toowoomba office could fix it. We are saving all our extra money. The pension is more than what my husband earns full-time as a truck driver and most people in our area. If we can live on this pensions should be cut by at least $10000. It’s not meant to be a lifestyle

    Posted by Judy Woods | January 7, 2023, 06:52
    • What do you mean not a life style ? I don’t no which pension you were receiving but mine is certainly doesn’t allow me holidays a car . My life styles when the electricity bill comes in etc I go without food . I don’t own a car go on holidays or out for dinner I could go on . Centrelink treats people as second class citizens.

      Posted by Deborah Kirk | January 12, 2023, 11:08
  7. Wish i had heard about this 12months ago
    At the age of 17 i fell and damanage my back and was told that i needed to be on a support payment
    But refused well 8 years later ireinjured my back and had back surgery but again didnt take the avice of doctor and kept working.10years later again i had to go under knife for a second back opp this was 93 and still didnt apply for supprtt pensoin as really didnt know much about it so i worked and put up with pian after going to my doctor he said i couldnt work and i had ptsd depression and alcoholism. anxiety issues
    Due the work i did
    So since 2010 i been applying for dsp and being told i dont meet requiremts appeal after appeal
    Well in 2021 i had enough i contacted tribunial
    And after a lenghty decussion with their doctors
    I was eccepted on dsp and was told that they review the dedission at later date

    Posted by Rob Whitmore | January 7, 2023, 07:01
  8. I think that government needs to hire more people in centre link .stop putting people on hold for 2hrs and sometimes more then 3 hours it is up to government to step up and help people in a Australia. Help here in a Australia first

    Posted by Patrick | January 7, 2023, 07:15
  9. Totally agree with the article !
    Politicians not only get a pension for life but are getting fees for their talk shows !
    All people should be entitled to the pension and if getting more income on the top be taxed accordingly.
    This system keeps people on the poverty line.

    Posted by Philippe Goriaux | January 7, 2023, 07:43
  10. I think maybe they shod bring people back into the equation. I’ve seen and heard how recipients have treated their workers in the past but one of the most frustrating thing about Centrelink is the lack of face to face contact, consistently and constantly being told to “do it online” and being made to feel a nuisance for even being in the position of requiring welfare in the first place. Not everyone wants to live on a payment from Centrelink!

    Posted by Madnessa | January 7, 2023, 07:47
  11. My son & his girlfriend have applied for Newborn & parenting payment in November there son is now 8weeks old, they filled out all this unnecessary paper work which was intrusive did a phone call interview only tobe told that there centrelink payment will be delayed as Western Australia is not a priority because of the floods & COVID in the Eastern States.
    They are trying to survive on what little my son gets after paying rent, bills, baby supplies they’re left with very little for food or anything else.
    My son is struggling to keep his head above water which is causing stress, anxiety & depression.
    Centrelink have alot to answer for and should be held accountable.

    Posted by Roberta Russell | January 7, 2023, 08:12
  12. Well about time Centrelink should be taken to task. I have had some major problems with this system the first time 14 years ago when caring for my dying husband at home. Centrelink needed me to go to their office in order to get a carers pension i had nobody to look after my bed ridden dying husband. So was denied payments could not get them to understand this was an impossible situation even the pallatve care nurses tried to intervene no way were they going to back down. Anyway long story short eventually when my husband passed after battling the system they finally gave in a paid me my entitlements. As for getting a pension well oh my God that is just ridiculous unless you are computer savvy which most of us are not especially Centrelinks system it took 15 weeks of no income for a friend of mine to get his because he needed help the people from Centrelink entered his information completely incorrectly. He finally was lucky to speak to lady from Centrelink who spent 3 days sorting out the mess. was back dated 6 weeks not the 15 weeks that was their stuff. Every time I get a Centrelink mailing my body goes into stress mode l hope l never have to deal with them again.

    Posted by Fi | January 7, 2023, 09:36
  13. I think the whole entire system is broken my wife works just as a kitchen hand 4 days a week and I’m on a Disability pension what I really don’t agree with is they take my pension off me each fortnight after she gets paid no that’s not fair I do believe if and only if you have been in a job for 6 months totally agree stop giving them newsart but I need my pension to buy meds get around etc etc and after she gets paid not a lot we pay rent but food petrol kids maybe a movie if we r lucky then they it feels like punishment and take like 300 out of my pension a fortnight and that’s a lot of money and we can’t get any where it’s so frustrating and backwards they should leave my pension well enough alone how am I supposed to survive on 200 dollars a fortnight I’m just lucky I guess my wife out of her 650a week can just afford rent and food seriously they need to really look at how we r living we r not animals and all of us should be able to live not like a millionaire but if I wanted to buy my self a Michelle’s pie and a can of come I should be able to not go oh well haft to go to aldi and buy there cheap ass packet of 6 pies and there rip off coke for 1.99 and that’s just a bit of it so sik of Australian politicians beeing so so backwards and out of touch with us and where has the great ozi dream gone used to super proud to be born and raised hear but now well let’s just say there r better places very very sad 😭 and when you ask for help for food vouches or just help in general through these so called help organisations vinnes salvos etc the amount of bullshit you haft to go through and made to feel so so small and like scum just to get a little help what a joke so disappointed with i all think I have pts for just beeing on the DSP and dealing with all this bullshit day in and day out

    Posted by Beau Timmins | January 7, 2023, 09:54
  14. I have been trying to apply for a disability pension for over a year with no luck all the reasons under the sun I’m on the 4th attempt at applying every time I get nocked back I get the bad news on a Sunday and it seems that the calls are coming from a call centre cause all you call here is a lot of people talking in the background they all have Indian accents and then they all of a sudden they become doctors I haven’t been able to go back to work because of a back injury I’ve sent all my doctors reports and they reckon they aren’t valid saying they are more than 2 years old I’ve done new doctors reports and c t scans fingers crossed I’ve waited over 7 years the exclusion time is 6 years so I should be entitled to a disability pension I’ve been to 3 Nero sergons all are under the same advice that with a operation I would have a 50/50 chance of being in a wheelchair for the rest of my life

    Posted by Alexander Higgins | January 7, 2023, 10:20
  15. You can bet politicians like to give a fair go…
    But it seems only THEY get the ‘fair suck on a sausage’!…and damned are the rest of us!

    Posted by Brian | January 7, 2023, 12:24
  16. My late wife committed suicide because of centrelinks bullying and refusal to accept a genuine doctors certificate. When l remarried 7 years later, l am an aged pensioner and after l informed them, they took over $200 a fortnight off me. My wife was not claiming anything from them.

    Posted by Dave | January 7, 2023, 18:17
  17. Can somebody do the same thing with child services they need a complete overhaul

    Posted by Kerryn Bennett | January 7, 2023, 20:04
  18. My son who is almost 20 years old and suffers from severe intractable epilepsy, who has been on life support for two days because of the ongoing status epilepticus, who is taking a cocktail of medications that affect his personality and make him drowsy has been denied twice for the disability support pension…they require him to look for 12 jobs a fortnight with his condition to receive his youth allowance. He lives at home with me, and I receive a carers allowance but yet he is denied the DSP; Backed by pages upon pages of specialists letters and countless records of ER Paperwork and it is still not enough, I am tired and so is my son, he can’t afford his medical marijuana that was prescribed for him and so with the cost of living at an all time high and five other children to care for life seems dreary and the future is but a heavy fog that we cannot see our way through

    Posted by Kristal | January 7, 2023, 20:40
  19. Husband and I both worked many years Husband fell ill I took care of him until his final days.
    Now on one pension same commitments
    Before it was carers now suddenly at 75 and not to good its age pension and I have to report my income .
    I don’t work I can barely walk why do I have to sit there and report.?

    Posted by raaleppo | January 9, 2023, 16:30

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