House debates

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Constituency Statements

Parenting Payments

4:13 pm

Photo of Don RandallDon Randall (Canning, Liberal Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government) Share this | | Hansard source

Catherine Harman is a constituent of the electorate of Canning. She came to my electorate office and I promised that I would bring her letter to the attention of the Prime Minister. On 25 November she sent me this letter which said:

Dear Prime Minster Gillard

My name is Catherine Jane Harman I am writing to you today regarding the changes to Centrelinks Parenting Payment and how this will impact on my family. My Parenting Payment is one of many that commenced before July 1st 2006.

I am a single working parent that is trying to raise 4 well balanced healthy young Australians my main focus is always the children and finding that balance. I am a good roll model and have always worked and paid our bills and put food on the table.

My hard work has paid off for us this year and I have been able to purchase a house to create further security for my children. But to buy this house I had to tighten our belt and be careful with every cent I earn and then we just scrap in and get by each week. Every bit of my income has been calculated in to the purchase of the house, food and our basic needs. We don't have a flat screen TV or a new car or new trendy clothes. In the near future I may even have to ask for help from Community Services this to me is something I wished I would never have to do. Have you ever had to ask for help from the Salvation Army? Do you know what it's like? So when I received a call from Centrelink telling me about the changes and that I will lose $85:00 per week from my payment I cried.... I cried over the phone to the Centrelink lady, $85:00 is a lot to lose it was a shock and has caused me great stress since... I will now be forced to work another day and force my children to return home another afternoon after school alone...if I cannot get extra work it will be the kids that suffer in more ways that I can list here today. I had always planned to work more as my children got older but now they are young and need their Mum at home as much as I can or I am afraid they will be put at risk.

I am very independent and strong and so will do everything to replace that money the Australian Government is taking away for us and continue to support my family as I have no choice. I was hoping to get ahead someday but I am not sure this will happen for us now.

I have always been a proud Australian and believed our government was looking out for all of us in every way, big and small. I am now not sure our government can be trusted with my families' future. I will finish by saying I voted for this Labour government because I thought Labour was there for the people of Australia. Have you forgotten what you stand for?

Kind Regards

Catherine J Harman

Catherine Harman and her family deserve better.