Hello CSA, it’s MLO again.
Over recent weeks, MLO has been shining a spotlight on the chaos the child support agency is causing to people’s lives. As a result, we have been inundated with messages and horrifying stories.
Why are people so desperate to speak up? Because politicians aren’t listening. Right now, they’re more interested in the emergency of same sex marriage.
Those in comfy seats insist the department is running smoothly, there is no problem, and apparently it’s fine for politicians to block voices they don’t like on social media… even though these voices are paying their luxurious wages. Aren’t politicians supposed to listen to the people? Facebook group ‘Child Support Australia – time for reform and fairness’, continues to buzz in politician’s ears.
CSA wizards, here are some corkers for you to reflect on while you sit around your boardroom tables snacking on coffee and biscuits provided by taxpayers…
7-month-old triplets – and a breakup
“My wife and I have 7 month old triplets. We currently live in the same house but will separate as soon as the lease expires. My story is extensive. In short, the CSA incorrectly applied legislation that enabled them to create a false debt. It was the beginning of hell for my new partner and me. It’s put us through so much stress our relationship has fallen apart. I’ve completed paperwork after paperwork, received an apology from CSA and yet, it is still not resolved. This ‘system’ is a complete failure.”
CSA wants family home
“In late 2014, CSA raised a debt against my family of almost $30,000. The CSA knew my husband wasn’t working and couldn’t afford to pay. They say they sent letters. We had no phone calls or letters. The first we knew about it was a crumpled letter that was shoved in our letterbox, obviously put there by his ex-partner. The CSA has now started legal action and are threatening to take our family home.”
Leftist media not interested
“No one wants to listen. I’ve written to politicians, ABC and The Project. No one in the government or the leftist media is interested.”
Payers and payees are distressed
“One lady in our online support group has continually been told that if she wants to report fraud she has to prove it herself. Her ex hasn’t paid child support for over ten years, every time they chase him up he signs back on the dole and she gets nothing. We hear distress from both payers and payees, it affects everyone both male and female.”
“I haven’t seen my children for nearly four years”
“I’m involved in a custody dispute and have not seen my children for nearly four years. I have spent over $100,000. There are no AVOs in place and no history of violence. I pay my child support. It’s a complete maze - no one wants to help.”
Parental alienation at crisis point
“It has been my experience that the courts are very biased towards the woman in their dealings… many good men and good fathers, who want nothing more than to have a relationship with their children are caught up in this. For my own experience, I have been paying child support in excess of the required amount ever since my ex-wife and I separated. I have repeatedly asked for my family to engage in counselling. And as for court orders, I have met every obligation asked of me. My ex-wife has actively alienated me from my children and employed strategies that academic papers label as ‘parental alienation’. Such as telling my children that I am ‘dangerous and sick'… Throwing out gifts that I have sent my children… This is a crisis, it needs to be confronted and reported on.”
Give good fathers a fair go
“I am struggling every day to understand why no one will listen to these stories. Why won’t politicians even acknowledge that fathers are going through these experiences? And yet, everyone will listen to Pru Goward or Rosemary Batty whenever they speak about violence against women… How about looking at the men in this system who are victims as well? Good men, good fathers who are not getting anything like a fair go.”
Project? What Project?
“Let me sum it up for you by reading this letter I received, ‘Thank you for contacting The Project. Due to the volume of story ideas we receive we are unable to respond to all emails, however a producer will be in touch should we wish to follow up on your suggestion.’ Crickets.”
Mental health and suicide
“Unending delays in the court system feeds into the depression, poor mental health outcomes and unfortunately suicide of males caught in this situation.”
“People are not being told what the options are when they first engage with the CSA. For instance, additional income can be exempt for three years after a divorce to give you a chance to get back on your feet financially. You can work overtime and as much as possible – but people aren’t told that.”
Day to day differences
“What you are told can vary day to day depending on whom you speak to. You can literally be told conflicting information as staff don’t follow procedure documents.”
Food parcels. What crisis?
“I’m a member of a support group for people struggling with CSA. One man hasn’t told his wife that he’s not eating. They can’t afford food but he’s not telling her, he’s making sure she and the children eat. We’re trying to organise food parcels for him.”
Kiss goodbye to your overpayments
“If you overpay you don’t get a rebate. No such luck. They will first ask, ‘Do you want to gift it?’ What a joke.”
CSA – what do we want? Transparency and fairness.
When do we want it? NOW.