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Your views: on COVID-19 marshalls, Centrelink, prison and planning

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on new pressures for businesses and community groups, pensions, JobSeeker, youth incarceration and holistic planning policy.

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Commenting on the story: What we know today, Thursday, August 20

In a very small part of ‘What we know today’, there has been a reference to the COVID marshalls: “…Meanwhile, a range of venues in South Australia including gyms, shopping centres, cafes, food courts and licensed premises, will be required to have a clearly identified “COVID marshal” on premises from tomorrow.

“The marshals aim to be a “visual reminder” to patrons to comply with social distancing and other hygiene measures…”

Are you aware that it is not just businesses being asked to fill this job? Volunteers for clubs and community service all around the State are also included. The part missing from your report is that a marshall is also expected to look out for people who are visibly unwell, and ask them to leave the area.

“…If a patron is visibly unwell, you may ask them to leave, if they refuse you can work with security, or if necessary police..”

Is this right? Volunteers already do so much for the community, they’re under strain already, trying to keep up with the regulations. Now they have to be bouncers as well?

They are not health workers, police or security. They don’t have the training or experience to carry out health checks. When a patron gets angry at their invasion of privacy who will bear the brunt? The poor volunteer. – Sally Haselgrove

Commenting on the story: Call to dump Centrelink’s JobSeeker asset changes

So the government thinks having savings of $18,000 in the bank should stop people from getting JobSeeker.

It’s not a lot of money in the scheme of things and gives people a buffer in emergencies, which we all know happens regularly. It also helps their mental health to know they have that backup, especially during Covid-19.

These are people with little hope of a sustainable job. Why are the poor in this country treated with such disregard, while the rich get richer off their backs? 

Time for a government change. But on second thoughts, what’s the point – they all have the same mindset. – Toni Whyntie

I understand the government is trying to kickstart the economy, but I would love to see ScoMo or any other extremely well paid executive public servant try and live off JobSeeker money.   

Just an FYI, every job I have applied for usually has over 150 applications for every job. – Jodi Wyatt

I am one of these individuals in the situation of being on JobSeeker and having acquired savings and will now be penalised by having my payments stopped. 

I feel the cut to the supplement is fair, but not hard-earned savings.

I have been applying for at least 15 jobs a week and can’t get anything, so how is this fair to people who are genuinely trying to get back to work through no fault of their own? 

I think government should show compassion through this pandemic and give the battling Aussie a fair go.Marissa Davies

That is wrong. Unless they have a lot of wealth, I don’t believe that they should eat away all their own money.

It’s good that they have saved it and not used it on drugs and cigarettes, so let’s not penalise them. At the moment nobody how long this pandemic  will last or when they will have a job. Angie Bottari

This is not a good thing. I’m a university student who also happens to work in the hospitality industry and has had his shifts cut to zero.

I, luckily, had some money in my savings and felt very privileged and grateful for the support the government has given me up until this point.

I will admit, I have more saved than probably most others but feel that if I lose these welfare payments that I will have to jeopardise my livelihood and safety net that these savings have become.

How am I supposed to save for a home? My girlfriend and I want to move out this week or next and I fear I won’t be able to pay rent because of these changes to assets.

How can the government feel this is a sustainable idea? It’s not prudent for the economy, not prudent for the average Joe and definitely not supporting the students and earners of tomorrow. Travis Bozic

I am 62 in October. I was made redundant due to Covid after 21 years of service and appreciated the fact JobSeeker was easy to be accepted for.

The Government have to understand that being made redundant and coping with Covid and trying to find another job places a lot of stress on individuals, especially when there are limited job vacancies. 

Now they are going to reintroduce the assets test. We are told you have to exhaust your redundancy payouts to continue payments or get banned for a good period.

We have over a month to act, and by act I mean we withdraw our cash till it’s under the limit. Stash the cash away, no problem, we lose nothing but receiving JobSeeker.

Don’t punish us. Currently we don’t feel too good about ourselves. Withdrawing JobSeeker for three or six months will affect our mental health. 

Every day the number of redundancies keep escalating. I hope they wake up and realise it’s a silly idea. – Andrew Marinakis

After paying hundreds of thousands into the tax coffers, not asking for anything from the government then getting laid off only because of the pandemic, they then expect you to beg for some assistance. Bloody disgraceful. – Tony King

Commenting on the story: PM to reverse decision to freeze Centrelink pensions

I think Prime Minister Scott Morrison has finally, politically, realised that delaying any pension increase to pensioners, who have also been doing it tough through the Covid-19 pandemic, is a very wise decision.

Especially when politicians, beaurecrats and other government employees have not been as financially affected as most others.

Prices for most food and groceries have increased or are about to increase substantially, we are told, so better to have the extra money soon, to allay even more public anxiety? – Trevor Synnett

Why is it always the Centrelink pensioners that get kicked down? There was never a problem with us when we worked and paid taxes.

Why not $100 a month to us? And no ties like assets testing. If we had plenty we wouldn’t be on a pension. – Colin Callaghan

Why is the aged pension too low in comparison to JobSeeker allowance? Making both ends meet with your pension when you are just renting a unit is quite a struggle.

Hope the aged pension amount will be the same as JobSeeker. – Maria Solina Lapalma

Normal pensioners only get $13.00 increase per annum (not double amount as JobSeeker), though there  are discounts. 

I cannot understand why we have to live on the same amount  of approximately $350 (included concession  amounts) per week, while other Centrelink recipients ($550 per week) get more. – Gay Carey

I think it is totally unfair to freeze the measly increase we get each September and March.

During this pandemic, jobseekers have seen their payments increase dramatically even if they haven’t been employed for years, just because there may not be as many jobs around.

JobSeeker is great for those who suddenly lost jobs, but I don’t think it should be across the board.

Pensioners have to live too, and yet we are being left behind in what the government considers an amount to live on. – Colleen Paterson

Being on a disability pension, times are hard as they are for so many, and the government helped out with JobSeeker and JobKeeper and others including myself were given $1500, divided into two $750 payments.

Although this was much appreciated, I must admit with all the increasing costs of day to day living, increasing costs for staying home, food, electricity, gas ect and looking after my granddaughter permanantly, it has been hard and falling behind on bills has been unavoidable. – Jacqui Brown 

The pensioners deserve an increase in their payment regardless of the negative CPI/Cost of Living Indexes because if you look at the breakdown of sectors – food and non-alcoholic beverages, clothing and footwear, health and insurance – all areas that pensioners are vulnerable to, rose.

The biggest sectors that drove the Indexes down: transport, education, furnishings, household equipment and services and recreation and culture (with the exception of transport) are areas where pensioners are not as predisposed to.

 Transport should be expected to have fallen due to the COVID-19 restrictions in place (no-one was supposed to travel), which I am sure will increase with the easing of restrictions. It is not as if the price of tickets has gone down. – Garry Shearing

Commenting on the story: Youth justice watchdog reveals “uncomfortable” findings from prison review

I raised many of the issues found in the OGCYP Report in 2004 when I did a field placement at the Magill Training Centre.

I was told by management that I was not suited to working ‘on the floor’.

Nothing much appears to have changed over the past 16 years unfortunately, most especially for children with disabilities in youth detention.

 I happen to think I was very suited to work ‘on the floor’ (meaning in the units) and I had a very good rapport with the youth. It was the establishment that didn’t like me raising the issues which decided I wasn’t suitable.

I am very thrilled to see at last that someone with some authority is beginning to look in to youth detention in SA. Well done Guardian Penny Wright and team. – Janet Christopher

Commenting on the story: Govt concedes there’s “room for improvement” as planning reforms paused

Let’s consider the unique footprint SA presents to existing inhabitants and those we can entice because we are different.

SA, an amazing place because offering international level amenities, festivals, food and wine, while retaining a genuine human scale in our cities and critical suburbs.

We’ve kept past legacies, eg preservation of North Adelaide (Horst Salomon), Rundle Street East (Michael Harbison) while innovating how we develop the newer suburbs, eg Lochiel Park (award winning ‘Green Village’), or Beyond (Chiton natural wet land), West Lakes (a tidal swamp developed by Delfin).

Effective planning legislation must surely take into account the totality of what we are currently? ‘Progress’ is surely capable of maintaining, also enhancing and extending without annihilating both the existing built environment as well as the voice of individuals.

Planning was never designed to be reduced to one size fits all. Just as each of us is unique, so too is the environment around us.

I implore the new Planning Minister to really have a look at what a treasure we have which we can enhance by innovating while preserving too. That’s clever, that’s SA. – Mariann McNamara

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