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Your views: on overseas arrivals, lockdown, Centrelink and robo-debt

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on repatriation and quarantine, income reporting changes and being wrongly hounded for welfare debt.

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Commenting on the story: PM says SA to take more overseas arrivals from Monday, as Marshall seeks delay

We need to get to zero cases again before international flights are let back into SA.

We should be more concerned with workers and families in Australia and the effect state border closures are having on them.

I can’t believe we are concentrating on repatriation when we can’t even travel to other states in our own country.

The reason the state borders are shut is a direct results of people arriving from overseas. – John Mancheff

An interesting moment for our Premier. Will he stand up to his Liberal ‘superior’? Setting aside the obvious point that we are in a difficult position which should be taken into account,  does the PM have the power to force SA to do this?

It’s been fascinating since February watching the Premiers getting on with what they perceive as best for their State, whilst Canberra has been sidelined. – Cathy Chua

Commenting on the story: Another new case, authorities probe Woodville link

In retrospect the lockdown appears to have been the right move – it looks like many more cases would have occurred without it.

It is discouraging that an obvious cause for the escape from the medi-hotel hasn’t been found. Although moving cases to a dedicated facility might help, if we get a lot of positive cases it may be very difficult to prevent further escapes.

The more testing of staff the better and frequent rapid antigen testing in addition to less frequent PCR testing needs investigation. – Mark Sheppard

Commenting on the story: ‘It happens all the time’: Contact tracing veteran reveals lockdown ‘lie’ was ‘not exceptional’

You would think the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic and the trust we place in health professions would prompt people to behave like they were a model witness before a Court – focussed on recalling and disclosing all significant information the may help trace a path of infection.

But that’s a hopelessly naive thought, it seems. Fear of truth telling is rife at all levels of society. Insecure employment arrangements are one of many plausible reasons for this. Another is that political leaders lie, over-egg, and evade the truth, and with malign results like invasion of Iraq and climate change denial.

While I trust Marshall far more than than the likes of Trump and certain proponents of the Iraq invasion, and his anger is understandable, perhaps those in glasshouses shouldn’t throw stones! – Jim Allen

Commenting on the story: Centrelink income reporting changes to begin next month

This is as clear as mud. I am not presently encumbered by this system, but I read through it, and I can normally understand stuff like this, but not this time. 

I fear for those who have to understand it, there is likely to be lots of errors made by people trying to follow the guidelines, but in good faith, cannot understand it. 

I also noted that recipients struggling with the online reporting will be able to opt to speak to a person who will be able to assist them. If that means a long wait because the help desk is under-staffed, then it is no help at all, even with a call-back booked, because by the time the call back is made (not necessarily the same day) the person who rang Centrelink in the first place is no longer available, or they have forgotten what they rang about.

When I was in the Commonwealth Public Service, we served the public. Sadly that is no longer the case. 

As a voter, I could not care less how much it costs to employ more public servants, the staff numbers must match the workload. – John Elliott

I’m not happy about this change as with reporting the gross amount it will deduct more of my fortnightly pension money, which I will feel in my pocket.

So if I’ve been taxed $200 out of my fornight I will have to report that and that will definitely deduct even more of my pension. How is this fair when you don’t get back your taxed money. – Sarah Shelmerdine

This has always been required. No wonder people have debts to be repaid. It states in your fortnightly form to declare the amount you have earned for the period, not the amount you will be paid. It’s black and white. – Tabitha Ray

Why do Centrelink continue to make things difficult as usual? Bean counters at their best. – Bob Swyers

I don’t get this, Centrelink (in WA at least) has always insisted on gross pay declarations, even including salary sacrifice over the stated gross on annual group certificates.

Many Centrelink officers even demand gross income from business and contractors working under an ABN despite internal procedures stating otherwise (fortnightly and pro-rata profit and loss). So, what? Govt is spending time and money to tell Centrelink to do what it is already doing? – Mark Martin

The punitive measures ruthlessly used to hold numerous  Centrelink beneficiaries, questionably accountable, are strangely absent when the politicians and senior bureaucrats responsible for taxpayers money are found to be scamming travel and accommodation allowances, for example. 

Only mere mortals are to be held too account, apparently. Australia must have a federal ICAC with teeth. – Michael Cheeser

As far as declaring to Centrelink what are paid, if you earn money today and you report on Monday, you have to declare it on Monday, not when you get paid.  Friends have told me that they mostly have no idea what they have been earned until they get paid. Stupid system. – Ann-Maree Rieusset

Commenting on the story: PM denies fault over illegal Centrelink robo-debt debacle

Finally, after months of fighting my innocence of proof against the Government that I am not a thief, robodebt is out in the open.

But what about the hidden costs? The conciliation meetings held in ivory towers; the paperwork and costly phone calls. 

Money is one thing; the heartache and tears is the real issue. I was never a cheat or thief! – Name supplied

Who does this fella think he is? He presided and praised an illegal government program and now he thinks the opposition and others should just accept it.

The sooner he and his government are held responsible, the better this country will be. – Adrian Lorne

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