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Your views: on AFL, Hutt St and Centrelink

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on the AFL season relaunch, homelessness and coronavirus payments.

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Commenting on the story: SA teams Gold-Coast bound as AFL restarts, but fears remain for the future

Some blinkered and/or short-sighted people may consider it a “disaster” if AFL games can’t be played in crowded stadiums in the foreseeable future.

However I trust there are many more who recognise that the real disaster would be the spread of the deadly virus if they did in fact have crowds attending. – Peter Bleby

Commenting on the story: City council move to overturn Hutt St Centre legal review

Isn’t the real problem that Hutt St Centre’s expansion is necessary? It’s quite confronting to see over the past few years not only the number of homeless on city streets, but the more diverse nature of them too, including older women who are clearly doing this for the first time. 

We need to care in a better, more permanent way for people who find themselves in this unfortunate position and it isn’t just a question of moving them out of sight.

Giving these people permanent homes is the obvious step, as the Finns and others have discovered.

Don’t make proper help contingent upon ‘good behaviour’; with the proper help, so often rehabilitation will follow. – Cathy Chua

Commenting on the story: Centrelink explainer: your questions answered

It is with grave concern that I write to you regarding those of us receiving Disability Support Pension and/or Carer Payment and the lack of financial support throughout this coronavirus season.

I am a 55yo mother of three sons who receives the DSP. Two of my sons (both almost 18) also receive the DSP. With only one of my disabled sons living at home and studying despite his disability, I simply cannot understand why the recipients of the DSP or Carer Payment do not receive any extra support in line with the extra support that is given to families, youth, unemployed, etc.

It is hard to explain the logic to my almost 18yo son whose friends don’t study, have no intention of studying or working and now receive the same amount that I receive (as a single adult on the DSP) and more than double what my son receives, despite the extra costs and logistics of him studying from home despite his disability.

My situation is not unusual. My rent is over 60% of my income, I am now struggling to afford the basics as the price of groceries has gone through the roof, we have extra need for medications and I have simply no idea how I am going to afford the extra electricity and utilities costs that we are all having to pay because of the coronavirus.

The Government acknowledges that the coronavirus is causing significant extra financial burdens for all Australians.

The Government has always acknowledged the fact that having a disability does increase the costs of living. Now we are faced with an enormous extra cost of having family home 24/7, therefore food bills are easily doubling, there are significantly extra costs in electricity and water and those of us who are lucky to have an elderly parent in a retirement village, etc., are also asked to do the extra running around for them (which we do gladly of course!) but it is a financial burden.

The rationale that we are receiving pensions at the highest rate is currently invalid as we are paid substantially lower than those on Youth Allowance, Jobseeker, etc. It is absolutely ridiculous, and blatantly discriminatory. It really goes to show just how important those of us on pensions, and carers, are to the Government. 

I fail to understand why those of us who are acknowledged as being among the vulnerable in the country are not given any extra regular financial help at all. The payment of $750 helped towards some part of “catching up” on the extra expenses we have already carried, but it simply doesn’t make sense that, for example, an 18yo on Youth Allowance now gets approximately the same amount that an adult with a disability who is running a home, caring for others in their families with disabilities, trying to juggling the enormous financial burden.  It is noteworthy that many of those receiving coronavirus supplements are also eligible for the $750 payments. We may have disabilities, but we are not stupid.

The extra stress and anxiety that we are facing because of the lack of financial support through these difficult times, is almost unbearable. I am extremely good and disciplined with my money, but have simply never felt so frightened at being unable to meet my basic expenses – I am frightened I won’t be able to buy food, medications, necessary extras such as hand sanitiser, disposable gloves or face masks, electricity and gas, for me and my family – not worried about being unable to buy a new game console.

The absolute blanket “don’t mention the war” (Fawlty Towers) type of reception across all media is also puzzling. As someone who previously used to work in media, I would have thought that the media would be right onto this to hold the Government accountable for all citizens, not just the select few. We all have extra expenses yet we are not treated as equals and completely denied any regular temporary financial assistance during these incredibly difficult times.

I am confused that the most vulnerable are being asked to shoulder this burden alone. It is discriminatory, it is unfair and un-Australian.

Please don’t forget about us. We are valuable members of society, we have extra needs because of our disabilities and we are hurting. – Jill van Iperen

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