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Your views: on "mistaken" travel exemptions, cashless Centrelink cards and Fumbles

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on an inquiry into AFL families’ travel exemptions, Government and private operator control of welfare payments, and InDaily’s Crows tragic.

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Commenting on the story: Port Adelaide exemptions “mistakenly” approved without any documented reasons: report

The Department of the Premier and Cabinet’s review of SA Health’s bungle to grant entry to SA for AFL footballer families is not persuasive, despite Premier Steven Marshall’s totally unconvincing mea culpa that “An error was made and unlike other jurisdictions we are actually owning up to that error”.

After reading the “review”, I saw no evidence of “owning up to that error”. Rather, I see considerable obfuscation and blame-shifting from on high.

To me, the review’s findings have the hallmarks of being modelled on the playbook of Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. Philip Groves

I personally think that Hatif Rasheed along with the unarmed person from SA Health should have been dismissed from their position.

My reasoning is self explanatory as follows. My mother-in-law died in Adelaide on the 5th September 2020 and my brother and sister-in-law live in Melbourne (Gisborne) and therefore required an exemption to be able to attend the funeral and also isolate for 14 days.

Unlike the football families who had a contact by Hatif Rasheed for SA Health, Kevin and Valerie Carey had no such avenue available because as a general citizen they and I had no contact number or person accessible to them to be able to phone directly, only an email address.

This process took until the 15 September 2020 to gain approval, and that was only due to Kevin contracting the local MP in the area where Mum had lived who assessing the circumstances wrote a supporting letter for them to the Department of Health, who then followed it through to SA Health to gain the exemption.

I believe Hatif Rasheed should not have used her position or knowledge of personal contacts and that the person at SA Health involved should have been more responsible, especially because of the pandemic. – Michael Cotton

Commenting on the story: Cashless debit welfare on cards for some Centrelink claimants

The income management scheme is advertised as being a way to stop people using social security benefits/pensions on alcohol, gambling products and drugs, but not to worry as everything else is business as usual.

Nothing could be further from the truth. It restricts so much more than that; it is not just like an ordinary debit card in any other way.

Stripping away people’s right to manage their own finances, making them second-class citizens, having to endure abuse and stigmatisation, being automatically branded as drug/alcohol abusers, being financially worse off due to extra fees and charges for using the card, plus penalties for when Indue fail to pay bills set up for direct debit is all OK by you?

Being denied opportunities to make ends meet by accessing cheaper options via markets, garage sales, eBay, buy/sell groups, many online stores, cash in hand sales/repairs etc, is OK by you?

Many people don’t seem to realise that eBay, Gumtree, a large proportion of on-line businesses as well as many physical stores selling ordinary goods, plus local eating and entertainment places are on ‘Indue’s block list as you could potentially buy alcohol from them.

Other excluded businesses have just not bothered to apply to be on Indue’s ‘Approved Merchants’ list. A number have even deliberately decided not to be on it in order to exclude people on Centrelink benefits from accessing their services. Some of these include motels and caravan parks. This has had devastating consequences for some people fleeing domestic violence situations. It is also pure discrimination.

Having to justify to Indue why you should be allowed to spend money (and how much) on items like e.g., specialty bras, some trade services, text books, spare parts, specialised medical equipment needs, school excursions, second hand cars, someone to mow your lawn, attending a school fete, cash needed for transport on regional buses, buying second-hand uniforms, emergency replacement of a second hand fridge or washing machine, emergency car repairs, etc (many being situations where cash is generally asked for) then having to wait days for approval (or not) after submitting an affidavit, photos and a letter that the vendor has to supply, all that is still okay by you?

Having your financial/credit rating destroyed by Indue whenever they fail to pay your rent or bills in time or fail to process them at all, is okay by you? Potentially becoming homeless because of this, having your rental history destroyed and real estate agents blacklisting you for non or late rental payments, and/or at the very least, once again continually incurring financial penalties and extra fees and charges is all okay by you?

All in the name of ‘punishing’ those few who may ‘waste’ some of their social security benefit on alcohol or drugs, for example.

Everyone on any kind of social security payment (not just job seekers but also carers, people on the Disability Support Pension, students, single parents, struggling farmers, fledgling small businesses owners, veterans etc, all now just have to put up with this ‘inconvenience’ for the sake of the common good? – Tina Clausen

Commenting on the story: Touch Of The Fumbles: My enemy’s enemy

I stand with Tom! – Trevor Wilkins

What’s that noise? Oh, it’s the sound of the world’s smallest violin. Would you like some cheese with that whine? – Linda Longin

Tom, I have enjoyed your oped pieces over the years and found them articulate, well researched and entertaining. But the vitriol and venom unleashed on Port Adelaide was next level. 

As a proud Port supporter I cannot understand the hatred you have unleashed. I feel the same way about Collingwood and delighted in their demise on Saturday and at the end even felt sorry for them.

Needless to say I was delighted that your team came last and mine top. I can only hope that Port defeat Richmond just to spite you! – Jenny Cole

I’m in the “they (Richmond) hurt our boys” camp, Tom.

Whomever loses this week will provide some pleasure, provided the winner is beaten by Brissy – and Charlie – in the Granny. Sill love your work. – Ron Dent

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