When you’re struggling to keep your head above water, and feel like you’ve got nowhere to turn to for support, that’s when all hope can feel lost.
Facebook group ‘Child Support Australia – time for reform and fairness’, is fast becoming a bother to politicians who don’t want to slickly deliver on reform promises.
The group is currently running a “media bombing campaign”, blitzing social media pages with questions and forcing the issue firmly into the spotlight in Australia.
Specific MPs such as Alan Tudge (Human Services Minister) and Christian Porter (Minister for Social Services) have been kept on their toes as members respectfully request information, change and action. The page is posting specific ministers to lobby at specific times – people power!
Ridiculously, we hear that the Department now actually uses manpower to trawl social media and troublemakers are flagged.
Therefore? Keep going!
There is also the magic of technology. You know that ‘read and receipt’ function when you send emails? Use it. We’re keeping a note of politicians who delete emails without reading them.
Yes, they really do that. No, that’s not what they’re paid to do.
We will be pushing for accountability. Tudge recently posted on social media about children living in poverty. It’s an interesting question, and one I’m keen to see him answer.
Tudge: why are children in new families valued less in comparison to children of first (child support) families?
Issues are taking six months or more to be resolved. Why? That’s six months of letters, demands for money and aggressive tactics that are pushing people to the brink.
Can I mention one more time that six men a day take their lives in Australia? This week, three posts on Child Support Australia – time for reform and fairness’ specifically jumped out at me:
“Today a friend of 14 years took his own life as a result of child custody and child support battle… Being alienated by the other parent not seeing his children finally tipped him over the edge…”
“So I’m wondering why I’m still paying a debt by CSA to my deceased ex partner, where is this money going, why won’t they just waive it?”
“New slogan? CSA = a new stolen generation. Children being alienated from their parents by greed facilitated by the government…”
How heartbreakingly true.
Where would people have turned before technology? The power of united voices when they shout together on this issue is a force to be reckoned with. Here grows strength, support, voting power and firm demand for change.
What needs to happen right now:
- Senate recommendations implemented - ASAP.
- Accountability and transparency from the department prioritised immediately.
- Longer term we want to look at the formula to have more equity for second families, have cases negotiated on an individual basis, and access be enforced not just ordered and paid for.
* Read more and get involved here. Use hashtag #reformcs
* Got a story? Email me firstname.lastname@example.org