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Your views: on coronavirus, Centrelink, handouts and empty shelves

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on Australia’s pandemic response, Centrelink and stimulus payments and early morning shopping for the elderly.

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Commenting on the opinion piece: We’re all in this together

If it is so that you “will do our core job – which is to hold our state and nation’s leadership to account and represent our community’s interests”, could you please expose our idiotic clowns of leaders for the dishonest, negligent liars and incompetents they are.

And yes, that is my sober judgement.

We are hearing ad infinitum from the national and state governments in your report today on why the University of Adelaide was still holding classes (I had to go to a compulsory event there yesterday), the statement that we’ll take more action when it’s necessary.

But the purpose of extreme social distancing isn’t reactive, it’s pre-emptive.

To make it reactive, as our governments are, is to be heading straight for the disasters befalling Europe.

We have decided to join them.

What an unnecessary tragedy in terms of loss of life and economic catastrophe for many, amongst the  other appalling consequences.

We should have closed all borders and isolated ourselves until we had it beaten a month ago when it was possible.

If we’d done that, we’d be laughing now. Instead our governments have decided on our behalf to pick catastrophe.

Now we are going to be like Switzerland, which ignored what was happening to its peril.

And today, in desperation, it has entirely closed down the country, every single business, cultural outlet. Even brothels, and since the Swiss do like their paid sex, that’s telling.

Only food shops and pharmacies are allowed to be open, as well as services like the post office. No gatherings of any kind public or private. Further, they have mobilised their army for the first time since WWII.

That’s what we’ve chosen instead, of the box that said a few weeks of bad stuff and then we’ll be fine. – Cathy Chua

Commenting on the story: Centrelink glitch shows Newstart payments slashed

I have been waiting for a healthcare card since 7th September, 2019.

I reapplied on line as instructed, and the Centrelink app indicated it would be processed by mid-October.

The app never changed the message, so I approached Centrelink in January to be informed that it had failed.

No one could explain to me why, so they resubmitted the claim and it would be expedited.

The following week my concessions were cancelled due to my card being expired. Contacted Centrelink again to be told my claim wasn’t a priority. 

My wife hadn’t received her healthcare card for 2019-20 but was still current, then it was expired the next week. But she hadn’t received a renewal notice and when we tried to renew it online it said it was current and didn’t need to be renewed.

It had expired in January, so we had to submit a paper application, which we did and it only takes approximately 28 days. Still waiting 5 weeks later.

I was told if I wasn’t happy with the action taken, ring the number given to me by one of the staff.

I gave up after 45 mins listening to music waiting for an operator.

My next option is to go to Centrelink again, wait for an hour to be told again my claim is being processed. – Stephen Cunningham

Not that I’m on Centrelink now, it’s a system that defies logic and is of course never wrong.

And robo-debt – again, totally incompetent and staff not trained correctly. – Jenni Matuka

Just another example of the LNP government’s heroic efforts to confuse, stigmatise and most importantly deter people from accessing Australia’s welfare safety net.

The War on the Poor continues. – Stephen Fuller

Commenting on the story: Coronavirus chaos: $17.6 Govt bailout, events cancelled

While the $750 one off payment has been declared – and yes, it would certainly come in handy – it is still subject to legislation later this month before it is a surety.

For too many of us who live below the poverty line and have nothing left in the pantry all too often, l would love to see our pollies live on the money we get for an extended period of time, with no financial backup from their banks, their families or anyone else. 

I doubt any of them would ever take the challenge, and that’s without the coronavirus to worry about. – Veronica Bingham

I find it hard to see how Newstart users are able to get this bonus, when the likes of casual employees are almost on same wage as Newstart.

We have trouble trying to pay bills and trying to live. – Mark Moore

As a recipient of a disability support pension I will now receive this $750 one-off stimulus payment.

However I feel I must say how disappointed I am that it’s not being given to everyone in our community, those on low incomes, casual worker families doing it tough as wages have been stagnated for years and generally most folks are doing it tough! 

So I feel very perplexed by this coalition governments divide and conquer attitude to its people.

They don’t seem to show quality leadership  or  respect or mateship that every Australia deserves.

They seem to hold the most vulnerable citizens in this great land of ours with such contempt and disrespect. It’s heartbreaking. – Siobhan Heenan 

Commenting on the story: Elderly-only shopping hours after shelves stripped bare

So you need a disability pension or aged pension and you need to shop between 7-8am.

This is rather early for the elderly and disabled.

Probably need to leave for grocery store about 6.30am. So need to be up about 5 am to get ready.

This is ludicrous. A good idea but not well thought out.

Let them shop later in comfort. Without getting up before the sun and upsetting everyone.Von Daniels

Great idea.

The shops need to make sure what elderly people wanting are on the shelves, not just queue to find nothing on the shelves. 

They might as well stay in bed. – Peter Rimmer

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