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Your views: on Liberals, TAFE and Centrelink

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on Liberal Party preselection, TAFE cuts and surviving on welfare.

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Commenting on the story: Liberals celebrate factional ‘realignment’ as Marshall confidant eyes parliament

Diversity of views is not “a mess” – it is welcome and should be celebrated within the Liberal Party. – Diana Laidlaw

Where at the end of the article ‘someone’ says “it’s just a mess”, perhaps it’s the people finally having their say. – Peter Annear

All this comment about factions is nonsense. The members of the Liberal Party determine who gets preselected.

I have been involved in several preselections in the last decade, and every time I have made up my mind at who I would prefer as a candidate. Never once has anyone within the Liberal Party attempted to influence my vote. – Leith Cooper

Commenting on the story: TAFE boss reveals industry concerns about course cuts

The response by the Education Minister and Premier are spin and distracting from the reality. Private providers seek to make a profit. Standard business practice is cut costs, cut quality and increase profits.

By removing TafeSA, it removes comparison. Currently, child care centres would hire TafeSA graduates over those from any other private providers. This Liberal Government has said it will not fund TafeSA, but only private for-profit providers for childcare training. 

Prides Business College was a private provider several years ago that failed, and TafeSA came to the rescue for hundreds of students. The ones that I’m aware of had received considerably less training and practice than TafeSA-equivalent students. – Tony Dyson

Commenting on the story: SA economy to lose millions when JobSeeker supplement axed

I’m a 63-year-old woman living in Elizabeth classed as “long term unemployed” since 2015, after I was taken off Austudy by Centrelink because they deemed my disabilities and severe ongoing illnesses didn’t allow for me to finish the last module of my Bachelor of Counselling degree I’d been studying online for over 5 years.

I’d previously obtained a Diploma of Applied Social Science before realising counselling was the career for me.

I’ve applied twice for the disability pension but been rejected both times and then on appeals, too. I was told: “You’re too disabled to qualify for disability pension”. And: “you need to be stable in all your conditions for two years, plus have doctors verify in writing you will remain stable for another 24 months”.

As I was born in 1957, I don’t qualify for the aged pension until I’m 67 years old.

If I’d not been renting in public housing since January 2004, I would not have survived in private rental.

My mutual obligations as outlined in my Job Plan see me currently doing 15 hrs/week volunteering (over five different organisations), plus submit verifiable details of applications for eight jobs per month (used to be 4 pre-COVID19) – despite often not meeting all of their conditions for even the most basic admin work.

Primarily this is because I’ve not been ‘working’ in the last five years in such work – despite volunteering with one organisation since 2007 – and all my volunteering being predominantly in disability, grief and loss, mental health, domestic violence/women’s services, anti-poverty and suicide prevention, intervention and/or postvention.

I’m also mandated under my job plan to have phone appointments at least fortnightly with my Disability Employment Services (DES) approved organisation’s worker, plus get regular check-ups with specialists including X-rays, tests, bloodwork and maintain health and mental health care plans and medication review with my GP.

Time required to do all this is on top of the 15hrs/week volunteering. As is reporting online, going into a Centrelink office, plus doing all job searching then reporting those to Centrelink and/or my Joblink worker. Failure to do all this incurs demerits, suspension or cancellation of my JobSeeker Payment. So I have no option but comply – even if it literally kills me!

My prescribed medications are between $28 and $53 per month, however, despite this I’ve not met the PBS Safety Net for the past three years. Other medical costs not covered by Medicare, such as dental, ambulance cover or disability aids, are also met by me.

Costs for doing the volunteering and job searching, all of which are borne by me, include: phone, internet, technology (including updates and upgrades), stationery, printing/photocopying; electricity, home office furniture, insurance, plus to comprehensively insure, register, fuel and maintain a roadworthy vehicle (despite it not being used to transport clients) and/or public transport in some cases too. (I receive Mobility Allowance towards the latter which is reviewed quarterly). Also training and keeping my credentials/certification current – when this is not covered by the volunteer organisation. Last December I gained my Coronavirus Marshall certification to use with these organisations – luckily that was free and available online.

As you can see by the above I don’t have time to be a “lounge lizard” which some politicians would have everyone believe we all are.

In fact, I’d welcome them to come hobble a day in my worn-out shoes, then come home to my meagre one meal for that day. – Name supplied

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