What can be done about President Trump?

By Ad astraAs you ponder the machinations of the White House administration,…

There's No Joker In The Way The Cards…

The trouble is - I've often remarked - is that we only…

The dangers of appeasement (Part 2)

Part Eighteen of a history of European occupation, rule, and brutal imperialism…

Day to Day Politics: Does this make him…

Monday 19 March 2018Yesterday I posed the question; “Why in God’s name…

From SA election conundrum to the riddle of…

Could Adelaide, or “Adders”, as Jeffrey Smart loved to call the Athens…

Is Barnaby auditioning for a new band?

On Friday, Barnaby Joyce posted the following on his Facebook page:The fastest…

Racial Preferences: Peter Dutton and White South African…

It has been the great misfit Australian policy since the 1990s: a…


Got talking to Pete last Friday down the local ... the subject…


Centrelink – How Soon Before The Government Tell Us That Privatisation Is The Answer Because They Can’t Even Run A Chook Raffle…

Without going through the whole saga here, my wife is dealing with Centrelink on behalf of a relative. Six months ago, she was told that there was bit of a wait because there was a backlog and things would be processed in their own good time. A couple of days ago, she received a form asking her to fill out an application for what had been applied for six months ago. She rang them today to ask exactly what was going on.

Sometime after she rang, I went to Bunnings. Now, I had mixed feelings about going to Bunnings given that, at my previous visit there, I was told that they couldn’t find the table I’d bought a couple of days earlier. Neither did they have any others in stock. Nobody seemed that concerned about it, and after waiting half an hour for somebody to do something, the woman I was dealing with eventually suggested that she could ring around and see if another store had one and it could be delivered there for me to pick up. I decided that a refund was quicker and easier. I point this out about Bunnings just to point out that private enterprise is not always without its glitches. Indeed, there have been times that I’ve waited on the phone for private companies for quite a while.

Conservative governments often tell us that private industry is much more efficient and runs things a whole lot better. It’s a strange argument. It’d be like me telling the parents of the kids I’ve taught that they’d be better off pulling them out of my class and getting them a private tutor because he or she would teach much more effectively. The obvious question would be: well, what’s the point of you then? The answer from conservative governmnents is something along the lines of we want to make smaller government. In other words, the only point of a conservative government is to make itself disappear… And, in the case of the Abbott/Turnbull one, I suspect that it is going to suddenly disappear, either at the ballot box or up its own orifice.

Meanwhile, my wife was on the phone to Centrelink. Of course, this is no surprise to anyone who’s had dealings with Centrelink, but I went to Bunnings, looked around, couldn’t find what I was looking for, got back in the car, returned home. By this time, she’d actually spoken to someone. To cut a long story short, she was now waiting to speak to someone about making a complaint because they couldn’t tell her anything about her previous dealings and were insisting that she’d need to fill out more forms in order to be able to act on behalf of the relative. She’d then explained that all that had been done prior to July of last year, forms had been filled out and the previous time she’d spoken to Centrelink that she was told that it was all in the pipeline and that there was a backlog and everything would be processed and that all anyone could do was be patient and sit back and just wait because when people ring up they have to waste time trying to find out why they have no record of any previous dealings.

Ok, so while I’ve been writing this, she has now spoken to someone and in the background I’m hearing her go through all the rigmarole of how to make a complaint. Apparently, there may be no point in making a complaint because by the time it’s  been dealt with, either the problem will have been solved, or legislation will have been passed requiring all people putting in complaints to document their intended complaint prior to anything going wrong.

She’s still on the phone. I’ve had time to grow agitated by the Centrelink muzak on speaker phone, go to Bunnings, come home and write this.

Now, I’m not running things, but why doesn’t the government put more people on at Centrelink? Not only could they process more calls, but they could reduce the unemployment rate.

I guess I just don’t understand. I mean, I was confused the other day when I read about how we needed to import pilots to fly our planes; I wondered why we didn’t simply train more a few years ago. But then, I also wonder why we don’t train doctors who enter into a guarantee that they’ll work in country areas until their HECS debt is paid off.

Ah, I’m full of bright ideas. Unfortunately, I suspect the only one that the government will take up will be the idea that we can privatise Centrelink.


  1. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Your solutions are exactly correct, Rossleigh.

    However, this corrupt LNP Government doesn’t want such logical solutions.

    It wants to ignore the best answers in the pretense there are no alternatives to importing cheap labour from overseas, so to drive wages and conditions down for existing occupations and to make existing workers compliant on the threat that if they speak up, they’ll be out on their ear like growing numbers of their neighbours.

    We are under siege by our own government!

    May they be held accountable for treason … and I’m not joking despite how melodramatic it might sound!

  2. Roscoe

    they are privatising c/link bit by bit, they are outsourcing their phone help centers to 250!!!! outsourced operators, that is bound to make a difference to waiting times

  3. Jack Russell

    Grrrrrr … from experience.

    I ended up deciding it wasn’t so much the penny-pinching on staff (as deliberate as that is) but that it was a triple-punch combination … of also testing your endurance to see if you could be made to just give up and go away, for good … and with the skyhigh error/incompetence service delivery factor being buried in the chaos.

    Again … grrrrrr.

    PS: Good idea for country doctors.

  4. Keitha Granville

    I had my low income health care card cancelled last year as I was going away for more than 6 weeks on a trip (not sure where overseas I was going to use the card but never mind. . . ) I suppose I was considered too wealthy to have one, even though my income has been declared for my husband’s pension for the last 6 years. In order to get it in the first place I had 12 pages of questions on a form covering EVERY aspect of my finances.

    On return I went back to Centrelink to have it restored – can’t do that, have to apply again. Seriously ? How did my circumstances change by being away ? Never mind . . . .

    I went online, filled in the claim. Much of it was pre-filled as they already had my information from the previous claim (duh) so I completed the remainder and sent it off. Some weeks later I received a notification that confirmation of ID was required, in person at an office of course. Seriously ? Even though you know who I am because you pre-filled my form ? Never mind. . . . .

    I went in to my nearest office to be told, “oh that’s ok, we have ID confirmation from your previous claim”. Grrrrrr. That claim has been approved. You will receive the card shortly.

    Another 3 weeks has gone by, no card. Just another notification that I need to provide last year’s tax information. Seriously ? You already have access to that in the first place !!! Never mind . . . .

    I have now sent off in PDF format my tax return.

    It has taken 6 weeks to now – I have had doctor’s appts and prescriptions filled WITHOUT my concession because the previous one was cancelled.I am guessing it may be another several weeks before it is finalised. Not sure what happens to people who haven’t access to the Internet in their homes, who don’t live near a Centrelink office, and who have no transport. I suppose they hope we will die before they have to provide any services.

    Not good enough.

  5. Clean livin

    Stop complaining about Centrelink. They are doing a great job.
    Just what the Government ordered!!

    Same for most government enterprises.
    If it weren’t for the bloody customers, everything would be fine!

  6. Miriam English

    Right wing governments follow the game-plan of breaking government services so badly that people are glad to have anything other than the service that’s been systematically run into the ground. It’s not fair. It’s sneaky. It’s obscene. It’s almost like right-wing governments enjoy hurting people.

    Most of the people I’ve met who’re employed in Centrelink are overworked, but their hearts are in the right place. I always cheerfully thank them and sympathise with what they have to put up with — it must be an incredibly thankless job. So many of their clients don’t understand that they’re copping it from above and below. They tend to go the extra mile to help me.

  7. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    True of most of them, Miriam.

    (I hope you and I are not being too naively generous to the Centrelink employee survivors.)

  8. Cool Pete

    Well, I had to move house (for health reasons) and I had to update my details online. They told me it would take around ten days to be processed. Weeks later, the information had not been updated. I filled in the forms online, answering questions about how much rent I was paying, yadda yadda. I am getting really concerned now as my pensioner concession card runs out in a few weeks and I haven’t received the replacement one, yet. I had to wait last time, too. This is causing me anxiety.

  9. Harry

    I am fortunate enough that I will never need Centrelink and I am pleased about that but I strongly sympathise with anyone who does.

    I think the Coalition know what they are doing: they claim that private business can do things better. Now I will concede that in some case that may be true but the real motivation is that if Centrelink and other government agencies are privatised they and/or their mates can make money out of what was previously public-owned. That specious argument has been repeatedly used to privatise much of the electricity industry, certain banks, airports etc.

    In the case of Centrelink, I believe they have deliberately under-resourced its staffing and its computer systems. The Coalition despises anyone who is forced to rely on the pension or other welfare so they make life as hard as possible.

    They are f#cking money-loving grubs who need to be evicted from the Treasury benches for a long time.

  10. Terry2

    The odd thing is that Centrelink tell you that your call will be recorded for training purposes : alwaysreminds me of those John Cleese corporate training movies where he was absolutely the worst possible example of a service provider or a manager.

    But surely Centrelink create a digital file when you call them and they can track what they are supposed to be attending to but which they always seems to stuff-up.

  11. nexusxyz

    They will start on the health system and run that into the ground and perversely claim we need a Kafkaesque US style health system as it works so well (for their mates in terms of skimming off taxpayer dollars).

  12. diannaart

    Hmmmm…. the difference in the bureaucratic game of “pass the parcel” between government agencies and equivalently large private service providers (such as the aforementioned Bunnings), is simply the latter’s primary objective is to squeeze out a profit, while the former’s directives are to be accountable to the latest government decree, do it with less staff and, maybe, help someone.

    Teeny tiny government at your service, people.

  13. David Stakes

    Seem to remember a friend of mine who Graduated as a Dr, way back in the 1970s. He had to go to Newcastle Hospital to work at first.

  14. crypt0

    A friend of mine had an appointment at C’link and got a phone call the day before, telling her that somebody (one person !) was sick therefore appointment was deferred for 12 days. Next appointment she turns up, gets told that should have been here yesterday … oh sorry, our mistake and appointment deferred another seven or eight days.
    All while homeless and with no income whatsoever.
    Where are you supposed to live, what are you supposed to eat, how are you supposed to pay for medical scans, prescriptions etc. with no Health card?
    Try begging? Won’t be long until you find out how much the fine is. Can’t pay? Too bad.
    She eventually gets on below poverty line NewStart and they tried to shaft her for about $40 of the supposedly standard entitlement.
    We need have no doubt that all this sh!te comes directly from top of the tree … i.e. Fizza, the minister for unemployment, LieNP cabinet, and the rest of the lying LieNP scum.
    N.B. The above is just a couple of examples of C’links tricks; and is by no means the end of the reprehensible treatment regularly handed out to C’link “clients” ; I could go on and on but in the interests of brevity
    Always remember … All Liebrals are bastards….

  15. win jeavons

    I understand exactly! I put in a claim in June last year, at a sub branch who sent it on to the main regional city office. In November, I asked about , to be told it was not on record, now apply online, (I am over 80) It is now January and I am still waiting for a response. I have asked my member to investigate, but this is not acceptable”service” . I never believed in privatisation , it was obvious a con. My dealings with government offices have always been courteous and efficient. This current set of Liberal politicians are stealing their pay from us, not earning it!

  16. very concerned granny

    and… if we don’t ALL stand up and STOP toxic Cashless Welfare Card(s) and express outrage at the pending welfare reform Bill(s) still going through senate imagine the blow-out to Centrelink wait times if this known substandard payment system is ever rolled out nationwide! The Card(s) allow a government sanctioned, newly created Australian underclass. Everything.. e v e r y t h i n g. all treatments, goods & services required by private domestic households with or without children, in effect everything needs to be government & Card issuer/profiteer “approved” Merchants and “approved” items ONLY. Merchants can be switched on/switched off without notice. An increasing number of Merchants have been removed in what were originally “trial” areas by the Australian govt and some Merchants have opted out. Think about it on a national scale in your own location, and needing to call a not-a-bank Card issuer to negotiate “approved” travel to take a child to hospital OR needing to call ahead to confirm this method of payment can be accepted by your local bus company or taxi. Card issuer ie. Indue PL Cashless Welfare Card User & Merchants terms & conditions are avail online. Please read them!!! One section of law abiding Australian ratepayers & residents ONLY will be forced to a shopping roulette and subject to flawed, substandard, potentially dangerous payment system software of the cashless welfare card(s). Out of sight, out of mind, there are hundreds of our fellow aussies in remote areas already being limited to a known Card-working geo footprint. One section of ratepayers & residents are already EXCLUDED from PUBLIC sporting, church, community venues where the Card(s) do NOT work! This is an outrage! Generations of ALL Australians paid into the coffers to ensure hard fought legal entitlements of social security remain unimpeded, paid direct and written into law for a reason! Please educate yourselves to the little known side effects of toxic Cashless Welfare Card(s) and take action NOW.

  17. Rob

    “The odd thing is that Centrelink tell you that your call will be recorded for training purposes”:

    From what I know, All call centres banks, telcos use that stock line. Team leaders and staff specifically trained to ‘assist’ new staff, more like monitor’ conversations to ensure adherence to response times and are they using the ‘scripts’ Centre are no different But ehr IT systems are currently rubbish. (more later) An operator will login to his or shift their a position number or some other Identifier will create an audit log, only. Centrelink and Job Active (JA) interact more than ever before. Alan tudge and his chum unchristian porter gave or delegated centrelink legislation to JA, menaing a JA employment consultant has now got the delegation under the Social Security Act to cancel benefits immediately, for a variety of what can be best described as rather punitive reasons. It has become the carrot (newstart) on a stick (JA)

    A series of contracts have been let or about to be to overhaul the centrelink & JA databases.

    The above is from the DHS website and yes the Robo debt / algorythm is the star of the show along with closer data matching with all Fed Govt depts such as special agent dutton and his mob. Designed to catch out those who leave the country and don’t tell centrelink, so their benefits etc can be stopped and Scomo can save ‘even more of our money’. Other features are even nastier and JA will become the big stick. Expect to hear the JA use the phrase “its a job, take it or I will cancel your benefits right now, understand?” You will get 3 strikes and each strike will earn you a counselling session in JA and a series of threats to take the job. You have some choice but if the EC deems it suitable or is desperate enough will coerce you to take the job or no Newstart. Just when this nastier part is due to kick in its thought if the Liberals get in at the next election Its a dead cert. Yes call centres have been sold to Telstra who can’t even keep their own call centres on shore in Australia.. The Liberals brave new world is closer !!!!!

  18. Rob

    “In the case of Centrelink, I believe they have deliberately under-resourced its staffing and its computer systems. The Coalition despises anyone who is forced to rely on the pension or other welfare so they make life as hard as possible”

    Put simply YES. OH&S in centrelink is a big issue for staff, but not for frontline managers or Snr Managers further up the food chain. APS staff are subject to ’54/11′ meaning once they reach 54yrs 11 months they have to retire. take their super or if they stay, have a reduced payout figure.

    Since the Liberals came into POWER only two ways of leaving transfer out, if you can. OR leave under your own steam. 54/11 is mandatory unless you know someone who can get you back in and you live in Canberra,

    The liberals decreed no packages will be offered to centrelink in the forseeable future unless the Liberals get back into Government then the Dept will fold so fast it will make the abolition of the CES under regulation look snails pace. So staff are overworked, stressed. Facing increasing pressure from managers and flawed IT systems, frequent, complex rule changes, increasingly agitated and distressed customers. Staff leave under their own steam in the main due to health reasons. The CPSU is impotent and the LNP know.

    A few years ago a Memo of Understanding (MOU) was signed by several bank and ‘other’ institutions to take over the payments. This has in part fallen through. The Financial Services Union and bank staff stopped the MOU in its tracks but the methodology has been tweaked to whats is now called the INDUE WELFARE CARD, owned by former LNP senator Larry Anthony son of the late LNP Senator Doug Anthony. i short centrelink by stealth Medicare is also under the DHS umbrella and IT systems.So will automatically follow as they have been co located within centrelink CSC’s for sometime.

    A vote for the liberal national party will be the single biggest mistake anyone can make who isn;t set up financially or who faces retrenchment and needs the euphemistically centrelink / JA assistance.

  19. Rob


    Work for the Dole (WFD) programs are the big winner. Massaging the numbers of unemployed downwards as the are undertaking ‘an approved activity and not counted as U/E.

    The lack of real jobs in most of the trail sites is the key stumbling block as well as having welfare payments in part quarantined. Where particpants on the welfare card trial have been breached/ cancelled they are already struggling financially. so the cancellation means no income until the WFD person re-enages with JA, says they are so sorry for being a pain in the butt and they would LOVE to rejoin WFD and won’t be difficult ever again

    Minister Tudge (as was) and his bud unchristian porter (now Attorneys General) are being very selective with their reading of the reports wriiten to gauge the success of the Welfare Card Trials. Basically everyone knows its a bad deal, the reports though,show what a damn fine thing the indue welfare card is and isn’t it a resounding success….but for whom exactly. Broadly speaking its the first of many trials and along with the DHS WPIT IT upgrade & see payments outsourced and centrelink offices / CSC’s no more than a shop front. Don’t you just love what the liberals are doing to us. Where will it all stop ??

  20. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks Rob,

    for your in depth explanation of the toxic Indue Welfare Card roll-out and Work for the Dole travesties of justice.

    This LNP Regime has everybody under siege, especially vulnerable unemployed or under-employed on Newstart.

    I want Labor with the help of the Greens and other Progressives to make it one of their very first priorities to reverse both noxious programs immediately upon winning government mid this year.

  21. wam

    guilty till proven innocent is the norm
    attack the guilty is the gratifying purpose
    ignoring collateral damage is society

    In my three frustration contacts with centrelink, there seems to be a law:
    ‘The customers with complex problems and experienced staff are mutually exclusive’
    My daughter was hounded to repay an over payment, because she earned more than she estimated. When she shifted from a ‘poor’ area of brisbane to vic, an operator did a check and found that she had been underpaid by over $2000.

    ps Rob: this looks ominous for the ‘customers’????
    “We are currently adjusting the staffing profile within our Budget allocations, to ensure we meet the Australian Government’s service delivery priorities for the 2017-18 financial year.

    A key factor in planning for the next 12 months is the department’s casual employment register which is expiring in February 2018.

    To reduce reliance on this register, the department is looking to adjust its workforce mix, including advertising ongoing positions and offering additional non-ongoing contracts”.

  22. Phil

    There are many reasons for a government to ruthlessly pursue privatisation of public assets and services. One is to eliminate trade unions thus neutering the power of collective bargaining and labour solidarity and cutting wages and employment conditions. Short term insecure contracting then becomes the standard fare for employment. No annual leave, sick pay or public holidays. The wet dreams of corporations.

  23. Harry

    Agree with your comments on Centrelink. We desperately need a change of government. BTW, Doug Anthony is still alive according to Wikipedia.

  24. Rob

    Harry, is doug anthony in his caravan?. He did run Australia from it last century and his superphosphate empire

  25. Rob

    Wam, The liberal agenda has always been and will always be about ‘saving us, the seething masses from ourselves’ in their eyes we are incapable of doing so. The Liberals are appalling, our daily lives , the vast majority of us, are worse now with them in our faces each day

    The outsourcing of its own policy creation to think tanks on a grande scale, Additionally, ensuring that these think tanks are now our elected representatives and or liberals are members of think tanks ensures in the liberals eyes a steady hand the tiller of our daily lives.

    The use of ‘efficiency dividends a misnomer for clawing back Departmental budgets is another effective tool as is the appointment of people who are inept and seen as more favourable to their cause.

    The Electoral Commision has in the last couple of days taken its life into its own hands and asked for ‘more money’ to upgrade its IT infrastructure. The AEC lost its head honsho over the WA Senate vote issues. Kilestyn fell on his sword, how ignoble he was.

    The power that now rules in the APS is bullying on a grande scale, Lackeys, whispering campaigns, short term contracts. nepotism, racism and various other methods used to break undermine the APS. john Howard decreed Ministers will delegate their authority or some parts s to Departmental Heads and Secretarys. Child overboard springs to mind and the selective use of images and video to promulgate the lie.

    Centrelink is no longer a place you want to work in or have much to do with. Like many others I have to rely on them and their JA buddies, who have less idea about job seeking /hunting and more about making money anyway they can. the toothless tiger DEWR, still investigates but auditing is done in a sloppy and ineffective manner. Everyone knows, “but don’t mention the war” Basil Fawlty 1973

  26. Judith

    And so they will pay more to private entities to ‘take care of welfare recipients’ just like job search providers who book 4 clients for the same appointment time & then ‘take care of them’ inside a 15 minute window, or make appointments which are cancelled without their knowledge or which take place without them being informed. And would these payments come from the welfare budget?
    Yes I can see it happening – another layer of red tape …

  27. Barbara Sheppard

    Agree with your comments on Centerlink. My husband is dying of cancer but continues to work rather than deal with the substanded processes of our lovely government agencies. The only redeeming comfort is that the young service providers we face today behind the counter, who give us the run around today, will one day be behind the counter themselves in the future. Such a pity our politicians are quarantined from this!

  28. James Cook

    A couple of years ago I had to make an application through C’link. I tried to do it online but had no hope. [Phone calls to the C’link “experts” only confused them]. So I had an appointment with a C’link employee who helped me fill in the form. About 6 weeks later I got call from C’link saying it had been filled-in incorrectly! Geez Louise. What chance do we have???!!!

  29. wam

    Yes, Rpb,
    The government employs o’reilly instead of mr stubbs.
    the AEC going to IT in a climate of hacking makes no sense. The last census was a wake up without any deliberate interference.
    But arrogance and ignorance are bedfellows and the normal rabbottian just repeats anything that sounds good without question

  30. Abbie Noiraude

    Why is there no indepth continual reporting by good investigative journalists on this?

    Doesn’t the “philanthropist extraordinaire ” Twiggy got a finger and thumb in Indue cards?

    Aren’t C/link call centres being ‘outsourced’ asap to Serco? You know them from famous providing of offshore concentration camps! Having made billions Aust $$$ are now given the tick to ignore/harrass/threaten the most vulnerable in Australian society.

    Have you ever received a letter from C/link with an AFP logo next to your address threatening to gaol you? We have! I waited for over 90 mins to get reassurance we had not been naughty. The relief to hear a real voice on the phone caused me to burst into tears! “Why didn’t you just throw the letter away like everyone does?”
    Good Grief. The fear of being breached since HoWARd’s years has created great stress, anxiety and depression. I get what councelling I can to deal with this and intercept letters to DSP hubby so he will never again contemplate suicide as he once did. Adding chronic depression to his many other illnesses has been unhelpful at least and dangerous at most.

  31. paul walter

    Abbie, the government crushed the Guardian recently with legislation, with the help of Xenophon. As for the ABC, the less said the better about its current sad condition.

  32. Miriam English

    We desperately need a Federal Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). The Greens have been pushing for one. Unfortunately the Liberals, Nationals, and Labor keep blocking it. There can only be one explanation why those 3 parties would be so opposed to a Federal ICAC.


    We need the terrible state of politics in Australia to change. More of the same guarantees it will only get worse.

  33. Rossleigh

    The obvious solution would be to have all MPs claim their expenses through Centrelink. I’ll bet we’d get some more efficient service then.

  34. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Rossleigh

  35. Kaye Lee

    Private contractors will answer calls from Centrelink’s welfare recipients after the Department of Human Services outsourced call centre work to multinational services company Serco.

    In an unprecedented move for the welfare agency, 250 of the company’s Australian subsidiary staff will take calls about payments in a three-year pilot program costing the government $51.7 million.

    The 250 extra call centre workers will be Melbourne-based, and are funded in the same 2017-18 budget that slashed nearly 1200 jobs from the Human Services department’s ranks.


    An offshore law firm regarded Serco, a company that runs sensitive government services in Australia and the UK, as a “high-risk” client, expressing concern about its “history of problems, failures, fatal errors and overcharging”, the Paradise Papers reveal.

    Chief among the law firm’s concerns about Serco were allegations of fraud, the cover-up of the abuse of detainees, and the mishandling of radioactive waste.

    Serco runs 11 of Australia’s onshore immigration detention centres, including on Christmas Island and will build and run the country’s largest private prison, in Grafton, New South Wales. Elsewhere, it runs private prisons in Western Australia and Queensland, provides non-clinical services in hospitals and is building Australia’s next Antarctic discovery vessel, or icebreaker, which it will go on to operate. They are regularly contracted for defence projects.


  36. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Serco, as the LNP Regime’s choice of contractor to run Centrelink’s welfare recipient calls, shows how much contempt this LNP Regime has for vulnerable people on welfare.

    Serco makes its living out of other people’s misery and this regime is a human rights abuser and enabler of abusers.

  37. Matters Not

    Perhaps Serco, or its subsidiaries, make political donations. But maybe not necessary because the common sense of outsourcing is now well established. We all know the mantra – private sector – good and public sector – bad.

    Nevertheless, Gittins disagrees.

    That’s because almost all the services best provided or funded by the public sector are “superior goods” – things we want more of as we get richer: education and training, healthcare, aged care, disability care and much else, even law and order.

    So the greatest threat to continued growth in the “lump of labour” comes not from robots, but from those wanting to put some arbitrary cap on the size of government – and, of course, on the amount of tax we pay.

    Note: things we want more of as we get richer: education and training, healthcare, aged care, disability care and much else, even law and order come from the public sector.


  38. Zathras

    Centrelink was one of Howard’s creations and was supposed to “fix” all the alleged problems in Government Departments by abolishing several independent departments and centralising them all into one.
    The Commonwealth Employment Service was outsourced to independent operators and haven’t they all done brilliantly?
    No scandals, no rorting but the total Welfare Bill just keeps increasing.

    They also blew about a billion dollars trying to “fix” a non-existent Government IT problem, not to mention the helicopters that would never fly and dodgy submarines they bought for the Defence Department.

    Not a very good record so far.

    Now they think that handing all our details over to a private company to manage will somehow “fix” things again. I’m sure the details will remain 100% secure.

    Maybe two wrongs do make a right after all?

    If not, they will just go for three – no problem.

  39. Miriam English

    You’ve gotta be kidding me. The only thing that should worry anybody about such a silly conspiracy video is that anybody might believe it… and that his great Moronship Trump could save us all.

    What does this ridiculous video actually say? Nothing at all. It tries all the usual fear triggers, but doesn’t actually say anything, other than that Trump will save us. It keeps saying that someone, who the video calls “Q”, has proof, but of what, they never actually say. Lots of leading questions in the style of Erich von Daniken were briefly glimpsed, but no actual information.

    This video is either a joke, or is made by someone who has forgotten to take their medication.

  40. Matters Not

    Did you know:

    George Soros funds the the liberal, labour and greens party.
    It also funds lgbt and antifa.

    One nation is said to have been set up by the liberal party.

    Follow Lisa Anne to get the truth. (Yep mental illness is a real issue.)

  41. Max Gross

    The LNP model for all government departments, programs and policies is Terry Gilliam’s movie BRAZIL. Watch it and laugh until you cry!

  42. Michael Taylor

    Somebody once asked if Soros funds The AIMN! 😳

    Yes, they were serious. However, by memory I don’t think my response was.

  43. Rossleigh

    Gee, I love a good conspiracy theory. Unfortunately, Lisa’s wasn’t…

  44. Miriam English

    In the words of Hank Green, “Those are almost the most boring conspiracy theories I’ve ever heard…. they’ve got no hutzpa! They take no pleasure in their own absurdity!”

    Hank gives a hilarious roundup of the top 5 most ridiculous conspiracy theories of all time:

  45. Miriam English

    Lisa Anne is a sad example of how people can be convinced to vote against themselves.
    Trump will save us???
    LGBT people are funded by shadowy forces???

    Why can’t people just use their brains, and think, and do genuine research, instead of swallowing idiotic and disempowering conspiracy theories?

    I mean, we have plenty of real conspiracies to worry about:
    – the fossil fuel lobby’s buying of government,
    – the LNP’s moves to destroy affordable health care,
    – the push (by both Labor and Liberal) to price education beyond the reach of most people,
    – using attacks on unemployed people, other races, and gays to make people fearful, to help religion encroach upon politics, and to distract from the destruction of the social safety net.

    There is plenty of genuine information about all these. Why do people fall for loony ones?

  46. diannaart


    Because fantasy is easier to deal with than reality? A person doesn’t have to do anything if they can blame someone or something else.

  47. Kaye Lee

    That video made me genuinely LOL.

    What hope have we got when people present that sort of rot as “truth” – all it was was a power point presentation of unrelated tripe that passed too quick for anyone to read it, accompanied by dramatic music. Seriously lisa? Or was it presented for comedic relief?

  48. Rossleigh

    I don’t know, Kaye Lee. Q used the word “wonderful” and then Trump used the same word. It’s obviously some sort of code that you’d have to be like, really smart to break.

  49. paul walter

    Re Kaye Lee and SERCO, I’ve long feared the “Nauru- isation” of wider society, for which detention policy has proven to be a cat’s paw precedent-setting wedge.

    These people are lunatics

  50. Andy S.

    I’d tell you my story of dealing with Centrelink but I fear you don’t all have the time. Basically spent 3 years complying with all C/L’s hoops while claiming disability benefit for my wife. Told she qualifies for some much needed help. 3 years later, they claim they made a mistake, and want their money back. Their appeal process was a sham, and of course upheld the original assessment that the money needed repaying.

  51. Miriam English

    Andy S, go to legal aid. Surely they can’t take back money when they belatedly change their minds 3 years later, after you’ve openly complied with all their requests in good faith. Don’t let them bluff you.

    I can’t decide after 3 years of using the telephone that I made a mistake and want back all the money I’ve paid Telstra, or say to the local newsagency that I decided I didn’t want the past 3 years of Scientific American magazines I have a standing order for, or that I decided I’d made a mistake donating weekly to GetUp for the past 3 years, and that I want that money back. They’d laugh at me, and with good reason.

  52. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    If legal aid can’t help coz it’s out of their remit, there are places like Consumer Action Law Centre and Social Security Advocacy groups.

    I’m thinking Victoria but anticipate it is the same in all other states.

  53. Miriam English

    If it’s part of that horrible Robo-debt swindle the government has perpetrated (and it sounds like it is), GetUp have created an online webpage that lets you battle them.
    “FraudStop – a free community service that helps people challenge their fake debt notice online in less than five minutes.”

  54. Cass

    I would just like to know why you have to give Centrelink updated details within 14 days of them happening, but they can take as long as they like to update those details. So far 3 months and looks like it could be up to another 2 months for them to catch up their backlog of work, (that’s if they don’t loose it in the meantime, would be a first for us). Have to say there were also plenty of problems under the last Labor Government, so I don’t think it matters who is in power neither party could care less.

Leave a Reply

Return to home page
Scroll Up
%d bloggers like this: