25 signatures reached
To: Australian Government, Human Rights Organisation's, Government advisors such as welfare organisations.
The government needs to overhaul the Centrelink's policy of treating welfare recipients in a negative, abusive, threatening and dehumanising manner. The duty of care element of policy should be adhered to more thoroughly than at present through a monitoring process with efficient and effective action ensuing complaints and transgressions. The current system is underfunded and there is a lack of staff at the coal face. The current system pursues a policy of deterring people from seeking welfare assistance in the first place and continues with threats of suspension of payments once established. People on welfare live in fear of having to contact Centrelink because of the great difficulty doing so.
Why is this important?
Everyone needs to support this petition for a more humane welfare system because anyone can lose their current financial status, need support due to illness or accident and everyone hopefully reaches retirement and through unforeseen circumstances requires a government funded pension. How we treat the less fortunate and diadvantage shows the character of our civilisation and should be a national trait Australia is proud to demonstrate. The slogan "a fair go for all" once characterised Aussies' beliefs, this is not he case anymore. Anyone who visits the website ' The Centrelink is broken' will see many examples of harrowing stories of people engaged with a not only uncaring response but abusive and threatening manner of communication. People are unable to contact Centrelink on the telephone when they cannot deal with the issue online through mygov or the Centrelink app. They either wait hours on the telephone or are cut off continuously before being answered and have to go through a process of demeaning verification of identity. For anyone with a disability,aged, English as a second language, regional and remote background or first nations people, or people unaware of their rights, dealing with Centrelink is traumatic. As welfare recipients, who through no fault of their own ( often working hard all their lives or being stripped of earning a decent income) find themselves dependent on benefits that don't cover basic cost of living are simply asking for respect and professional support in an uncondescending manner. I have found the staff at my local Centrelink office very helpful however to cancel an appointment made in case I was unable to use technology on line I had to revisit the centre to do this because I could not contact Centrelink. I was also threatened with having my and my partner's pension suspended if I didn't attend this meeting. For someone out of town or without transport this simple process becomes a nightmare. I cannot call my local Centrelink office to cancel or reschedule an appointment. Welfare recipients are a minority so there are no political point scoring for an overhaul of Centrelink. I need the people to come together and support this proposition because you don't know if this experience could be one you will encounter in the future. For those looking towards retirement on a government supported benefit you will be treated as an undeserving burden on the rest of society who should give up their rights and any savings or property ownership to receive welfare benefit no longer considered or called aged pension.