Reciprocating Hanson’s boycott (reposted from 2017)

I posted this in 2017. Not many people agreed with me, but I think my positiion has been justified by events. Hanson and One Nation have no legitimate place in public life.

Apparently, Pauline Hanson and One Nation are refusing to vote for any government legislation until the government intervenes on the side of canegrowers in a dispute with millers and marketers*

Coincidentally, I was considering the question of how to deal with Hanson’s presence in the Senate and came up with the opposite way of implementing the current situation. The major parties should refuse Hanson’s support, and should show this by having four Senators abstain on any bill where One Nation supports their side. Obviously, this isn’t going to happen with the LNP. However rude they may be about Hanson and other ONP members when they say something particularly appalling, ONP is effectively part of the coalition and is being treated as such.

But for Labor, I think the case for shunning One Nation is strong. The arguments for a complete rejection of One Nation’s racism are obvious. The costs would be

(i) In votes where Xenophon went with the LNP and Hanson with Labor and the Greens, this would turn a win into a loss (I think – can someone check)

(ii) Open hostility to One Nation would probably shift some ONP voters to change their second preferences

I don’t think either of these points have a lot of weight. But the self-styled Labor “hardheads” whose brilliant moves have included putting Family First into Parliament and abolishing optional preferential voting in Queensland, just when would help Labor most, will doubtless disagree.

* These disputes have been going on for decades, reflecting the fact that, because sugarcane is costly to transport, growers are very limited in their choice of mills, and millers similarly depend on a relatively small number of growers to keep them in business.. I haven’t looked into the merits of this one

68 thoughts on “Reciprocating Hanson’s boycott (reposted from 2017)

  1. It’s only Hanson plus one nowadays and the Senate is hardly sitting before the election anyway.

    The more interest question is preferences at the election. If the LNP puts ON last in the Senate (not counting those who are even worse) then in effect they are directing their surplus votes to Labor or the Greens.

  2. This morning I hear Morrison announced a formal lowered cap on migration numbers to 160k. Shorten has announced a big cut in overseas temps and a supposed willingness to ‘discuss’ migration later. In the light of Hanson and varied company more long overdue duopoly developments along those lines are to come.

  3. Pauline Hanson has not helped the immigration debate at all. Racist rationales for limiting immigration simply muddy the waters and get sustainability advocacy, for a stable population and lowered immigration rate, smeared with the same imputations of racist motivation.

    The imputations are correct in the case of Hanson, Anning and their populist base. The imputations are not correct in the case of sustainability advocacy per se. Lowered acceptance rates for voluntary immigration in and of itself does not imply nor require racist selection criteria.

  4. Agreed, Ikonoclast, but there is realpolitik, and the skinning of cats of whom rather fat moneyed ones acting together have controlled the issue, indeed they’ve dominated the entire territory here.

  5. Digressing, my recollection is that a large foreign own miller managed to gain control of the market and then drastically lowered prices paid to growers…more “Free Trade”.

    Most people see through Hanson, but her little battler shtick works well in an era of not unjustified fear of globalisation of the neo-liberal financialised kind.

  6. Continuing on from anonymous who is actually me, I’d have to say the utter dishonesty shown by politicians of all colors as to the implications of FTAS, funny deals etc, details kept opaque and undiscussed before clandestine agreement on such policies, has been a big factor in creating exactly the sort of Kafkaesque unease that creates fear of labour market dismantling, social infrastructure cutting, dumbing down and surveillance that keeps so much of Hansonist etc easy answers open as an option in a information desert.

    We can really think of an equivalence with “Insider Trading”, where the public are stake holders kept out, surely only for their disadvantage, against the narrow and self oriented interests of big business and big politics.

  7. could there be something to be said for the way the electoral system throws up this kind of minority malevolence?

    a minority (yes. minority.) and we would all of us have come across the occasional individual who is in full agreement or just “goes along to get along”, with the fear, anger and thoughtless alarm of well presented spite that is on show.(the newness of the internet exacerbates this but is not the cause)

    having this in full view lets us know what we have to face.

    and i would rather see it for what it is than have it come out of nowhere.
    especially, when, pointing to previous historical mistakes of trying to accommodate or wait out the rash of murderers the historical mistakes let loose, is severely frowned apon.
    apparently saying “lest we forget” is a no no.
    godwin sez “you lose”
    as far as i’m concerned when i hear “godwin”, i think “grech”(i got caught i’m so depressed)

    anning was elected with 19 primary votes?
    that means the front runners were rejected by a majority of the votes.
    his chances of being re-elected are nil.

    the help hansen has received from the coalition has ensured the ramshackle thought bubble has a vote. as long as she remains a “useful idiot” the coalition will use her.(and help her)

  8. Paul Walter, I agree with your points.

    may, only e.e. cummings can carry off no caps. 😉

  9. It is important to engage with Pauline Hanson and with those who support here. About half of Australians want migration from Muslim countries to be cut. It is not, at all, a minority viewpoint. If they are wrong – and I think they are – then it is important convince them not just to say their views are illegitimate and should not be heard. A major attraction of Hanson is her claim that she represents the silenced and to some extent she does.

    e.g.

    1. The problems of an excessively high immigration intake are mainly not race or religion specific. Congestion in our cities, slow wage growth, high housing prices and the destruction of our biodiversity base are, if anything, linked to population size – the environmental issues also too to the role of agriculture – not to the racial or religious identity of immigrants. I agree with Iconoclast on this.

    2. Muslims are in the main victims of Muslim terrorism rather than perpetrators – the killings that occur very frequently in countries such as Pakistan attest to this. The identification of Islam with terrorism is inaccurate and hypocritical given the West’s actions. The aim of terrorists is to create a civil war between Islam and the West and anti-Muslim attitudes help to realise these terrorist plans.

    3. Problems of unemployed immigrants with high levels of social welfare dependence reflected bad entry procedures under, for example, the Fraser Government. For equity reasons and also to benefit from skill externalities we should mainly target skilled immigrants in our intakes. The economic impacts of having many unskilled immigrants fall mainly on disadvantaged Australians as well as the taxpayer. Again this is not a race or religious issue but a question of immigration program design.

    4. There are biases in society against accepting the new or unfamiliar. In the past we have had this with Italian, Vietnamese and more recently Chinese and African immigrants. The consequent changes create social anxiety which dissipates as familiarity increases. Immigration authorities need to be aware of this and not move too quickly but we also as a society need to be aware of our own biases.

    I remember the shock to my own preconceptions and biases when I first became friendly with Muslim students. It isn’t just an abstract endorsement of such people – at a human level you need to intuit the commonalities.

    If you dismiss Hanson as a racist bogan you are missing the point that she does represent real fears even if she is neither particularly intelligent or articulate in doing so.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/fairfax-ipsos-poll-australians-split-on-muslim-migration-ahead-of-new-population-policy-20181118-p50gt0.html

  10. @harry Clarke

    Can we put to bed once and for all, at least on this blog, the idea that Hanson represents the “silenced”? How are they silenced? They can say whatever they want on social media. In the mainstream media, their views are represented by all the tabloid newspapers, the only national broadsheet, on television (Sky News) on radio (2GB for sure and probably other stations).

    If the answer is that they are not silenced as such but their views are ignored by the powers that be, then that is also bollocks. The Prime Minister himself is an on again, off again, race baiter, depending on what is expedient at the time, and the Minister for Home Affairs, who has immense power, is an on again and again and again race baiter. The Hanson supporters have had the rails run since September 2013 and if they are too dumb to realise it then there’s nothing anybody can do for them.

  11. Puting aside for a moment the even bigger more relevent issues, if Australia or Germany or the USA or the UK, would selectively go through pool of potential immigrants and pick and choose those that had skills which would allow them to quickly find jobs in their new homeland then these industrialized countries would be taking those people who are most capable of adding value to the nations that they are comming from.
    More attention should have been paid to the development of these other countries by the former colonialists starting back in the 1950s. But in addition to that we needed to recognize that the Catholic Church’s impracticle position on population control was an extremely distructive force which has caused an even bigger problem in creating a society that a lover of Truth and Justice would have smiled upon.
    The Communists Chinese were the only people who handled the Catholic Church in a manner that was fitting for the Catholic Church. Speaking of the God of Truth and Justice and Reasonableness (which has nothing to do with a Biblical God) I think that it is time for me to return to the sand pit and pound some more sand.

  12. We hear talk of, or occasionally are allowed to hear of, or made to hear of: Immigration; Skills shortage; Water; Aging demographic; Congestion; Migration; Climate destruction; Agricultural degradation; Regions; Market size; Defence; Economy; Infrastructure; Jobs; GDP; GDP per capita; Training; Sustainability; Wages; Housing; Environment; Quality of life; Race…

    Spun the same lines round and round we’re sent, many bewildered, some diverted, misdirected, and deceived. Some at each other’s throats! Any reasonably adept lip reader would see that the issue is POPULATION! Is there a population policy? Is it benign? Is it acceptable to the majority? What serves as the default population policy currently? Who makes it? Who benefits? What is a proper population policy? What should it be? How should it be arrived at and administered – openly, arbitrarily, scientifically, democratically, commercially, sneakily, or by a deep state bureaucratically?

    Read my lips: Royal Commission into Population. Now!

  13. Hanson might not be intelligent but she is smart – even here she has everybody talking about her, some in support of her…..policies….prejudices….politics?

    Hanson has no expertise, she is a racist and does not deserve to be included in any discussion. But there she is, bobbing up on all sorts of media, keeping the fake fear factor bubbling along. Real issues, like climate change, are not even acknowledged.

  14. rog,

    This all says more about our media and those who manipulate it than it says about Hanson. She’s a useful cypher. She is a nonentity to the powers that use her and a method of delivering a (not very) coded message. Indeed, her message is often quite open. It is the source of the message that is coded. She’s a front for a message from hidden sources.

  15. Harry: “About half of Australians want migration from Muslim countries to be cut.”

    As the article states, Fairfax’s polls showed this is virtually the same number of Australians (46%) who wanted immigration cuts from all countries (45%).

    Click to access Social-Cohesion-2018-report-26-Nov.pdf

    Table 29:

    15-22% of Australians believe it should be possible for immigrants to be rejected on the basis of race or ethnicity.
    18-29% of Australians believe it should be possible for immigrants to be rejected on the basis of religion.

    Table 35:

    23-39% of Australians have a ‘somewhat negative’ or ‘very negative’ personal attitude towards Muslims.

    Table 27 is also worth looking at.

  16. There has been a number of polls and about 50% are against Muslim immigration. seems to be consistent figure.

    Those polled were not particularly knowledgable re Muslim immigration so I guess it was an attitude picked up along the way.

  17. rog, two of those polls are the ones referred to above. The third (Essential, 24 April 2018) didn’t ask about Muslims.

  18. Smith9:

    Can we put to bed once and for all, at least on this blog, the idea that Hanson represents the “silenced”? How are they silenced? They can say whatever they want on social media. In the mainstream media, their views are represented by all the tabloid newspapers, the only national broadsheet, on television (Sky News) on radio (2GB for sure and probably other stations).

    If the answer is that they are not silenced as such but their views are ignored by the powers that be, then that is also bollocks.

    Mainstream folk, including mainstream left wing folk, are repeatedly silenced by the Regressive Left, which for the time being is the dominant paradigm in academia and progressive media outlets such as The Guardian. It is the Regressive Left who, inter alia, deplatform people like Richard Dawkins.

    It is ironic and emblematic of the problem that the moderate Muslim, Maajid Nawaz, who apparently coined the term Regressive Left, ended up on the Southern Poverty Law Centre’s extremist hit list.

    ***www.quilliaminternational.com/southern-poverty-law-center-inc-admits-it-was-wrong/

    My apologies if I’ve triggered anyone.

  19. Perhaps the question could be, “do we need high immigration at all, when two-three million people already here are un or underemployed as it is?”

  20. It is the Regressive Left who, inter alia, deplatform people like Richard Dawkins.

    Here is Richard Dawkins’ web site

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/

    which anyone can read and which conveniently lists his upcoming lectures and sells tickets to his events.

    His Twitter feed has 2.8 million followers. You can buy all his books on Amazon. You can follow him on Facebook.

    If the objective of the regressive left is to deplatform Richard Dawkins, they are wildly unsuccessful.

    There are places where people are silenced, such as China, Russia and Turkey (to pick a topical example). Nobody is silenced in Australia or like countries.

  21. What is this “regressive left” nonsense?

    Anyone who disagrees with the detestable neoliberal ideology and policy of high unemployment??

  22. Just spotted this online for the benefit of the snide idiots who talk of the “regressive” left.

    Here is your ally, Alan Tudge, the man responsible for robodebt at a time when millions have been un or underemployed.

    https://theconversation.com/the-government-is-right-immigration-helps-us-rather-than-harms-us-113919?fbclid=IwAR3xOKZm-jbz1MXbTRA0J4aT6RbTPm2tbzIW7tEBFqppT_aI9aZoGqufYb8

    Beter regressive left than the ilk of Tudge?

    And how do poor countries make up for their shortfalls of skilled labour, btw?

    Better regressive left than neo liberal fascist.

  23. Well, thank you Hugo.

    All I’ve tried to do for some time is point out obvious contradictions in comments from those holding positions that seem accidentally or wilfully denialist/ ignorant of certain realities. (Tudge’s Centrelink brutalities juxtaposed to his desire for big pop, for example?)

    I have rarely ever had the politeness of an adult reply on issues I raise as to certain propositions by others that seem in conflict with reality.

    Personally, I find it sad that neoliberalism is the new goddess of the inner city left and that objections to high unemployment and the wrecking of the social infrastructure net to further induce a Morrison on steroids society seems to be regarded as “regressive” or even “racist”

    All I have ever said as to immigration is, let’s get the economic and enviro setting adjusted rationally in the first place to not induce problems for higher populations in an increasing ravaged land also denuded of democracy.

    If that is “racist”, so be it.

  24. Nick

    The polls you ref to are from 2016 whereas the ones I ref to are in 2018.

    There is a marked change in attitude.

  25. paul walter says: March 21, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    “Here is your ally, Alan Tudge, the man responsible for robodebt…”

    Morrison is the sole father of robodebt. It has had a number of innocuous babysitters since Morrison gave issue.

  26. Svante, you may well be right as to absolute origins, but Tudge was the minister who prosecuted it so brutally, overseen by another monster, Porter.

    It is rarely acknowledged in media and press and rarely at sites like this, but many people were driven to suicide, nervous breakdowns and attempted suicides, but it is inconvenient when you are arguing that the social security system has not been at least partially dismantled as would happen under IPA thinking, if this is a basis for big pop.

    They wouldn’t own to a rat race of poor locals and poor immigrants fighting for rare and low paid, temporary work on this slow march to Serfdom, now would they?

    Any more than they would admit that the sort of society would make things easier for a rightist elite to continue policies of an IPA type while most folk remained distracted by the vicissitudes of a devalued daily life while big business and TNC friends walk away through taxation non-compliance incidentally slush funding the demolition of a society once based on the fair go through stooges like Dutton, Morrison and Tudge.

  27. rog, not to be disagreeable, but that’s incorrect. Your first link was to very same article Harry linked to upthread (Nine Publishing, Nov 2018). Your second link was to a poll which made no reference to Muslims. Your third link was to an Honest History article from 2016 – about the very same Essential poll I linked to when asking if you could be more specific.

    I’m trying to show that the sum total evidence for this claim is a single outlying poll from 2016, and a single outlying poll from Nov 2018.

    That’s it as far as I’m aware, and both of those polls were widely criticised at their respective times. The 2016 Essential poll was outright wrong, and the Nov 2018 poll looks suspiciously like an example of what Ikon was discussing upthread. Commercial media, in this case Nine Publishing – the same company that calls A Current Affair ‘journalism’ – freshly in charge of Fairfax, attempting to influence public opinion by exaggerating the level of negative sentiment towards Muslims in the Australian community.

    To be clear, I have no problem with most of what Harry wrote beside that, and his personal sentiments were well expressed, and are fine by me. I also have no problem with people raising sustainability and environmental concerns, lack of supporting infrastructure, potential impacts on the poor and unemployed, housing prices etc, all of which are valid reasons for reining in immigration levels.

    As I’m sure everyone here is aware, and if not please read the Scanlon report I linked to, actual levels of Muslim immigration in Australia are extremely low, and just a small fraction of total immigration levels – and many came here as refugees as a direct result of wars we’ve participated in.

  28. Nick, high general population growth rates would continue for some considerable time even after a massive cut to immigration – migrants continue having kids after they arrive, so the migrant contribution to births in Australia currently runs at near half. Fertility rates vary within the wider population with economics, culture, and time. I have no part in any wars, war crimes, or other filthy things the duopoly deputy sheriffs regularly engage in or ignore overseas, quite the contrary. We all pay a high price for that depravity ongoing. That said, as Keating backed in Kokoda long overdue, so I’d back in a free West Papua which is also way overdue, as was Timor Leste… not to mention the First Australians. There is lots needed doing here to clean up our own backyard without the unnecessary, unwelcome, long term complications and costs of migration and dumb growth. In addition to actually taxing the rich that gross revenue stream flowing into their offshore tax havens needs stopping.

  29. Free West Papua; overdue, or too late? The references I can see suggest that it’s already majority non-Melanesian, which means it could go to a referendum and decide to stick with Indonesia. Still, that’s something of a diversion. I should get back to Morrison’s ducking and weaving on the project about preferencing ON. “Who,me? I’m just Prime Minister – these things are decided by the party organisation, which I’ve never been photographed together with….. All I can do is set a good example by denouncing the views I was caught out on in 2010.”

  30. Svante: “migrant contribution to births in Australia currently runs at near half”

    Where did you read this?

  31. Paul Walter “It is rarely acknowledged in media and press and rarely at sites like this

    I find this pretty annoying. I’ve been working on unemployment, poverty and related issues for many years – notably since my 1994 book Work For All. I don’t think any reader of this site, friendly or hostile, would be in any doubt about my attitudes to the robodebt program. But I only have finite time, and if I don’t have anything new to say on a topic, I don’t write about it.

  32. Prof Quiggin, it is true that very few points I’ve tried to raise concerning the lack of forward planning over the last generation and the sometimes unworthy reasons that forward planning has not occurred.

    It is sad that you can not comment further, given your study and knowledge of long term trends but all I have sought, for a long, long time is the sort of context that make terms such as “racist”, or “regressive”, left somewhat out of location to reality, when directed toward me and those of my view questioning capitalist globalisation as inimicable to multiculturalism.

    Is it possible that the sniping at NSW opposition leader Daley this week concerning his expression of public concern against the smashing of equity by neoliberalism; the real issue of these times, to the point that the public is so dumbed down it cannot grasp a real issue; the sport stadiums farce initiated by the Berejiklian government for the false attack on Daley’s question?

    I am sorry you are offended. But also am offended at fair questions about pol-economics, rational economic and enviro policy and the debilitating effect of corrupting neoliberalism have had on discourse to the extent that the sort of points people like myself raise are now dismissed by the dumbed down as racism or regression for the want of context.

  33. Nick says: March 22, 2019 at 11:00 am – ““migrant contribution to births in Australia currently runs at near half” Where did you read this?”

    often, commentators on the population debate understate the role played by immigration in driving Australia’s population growth.

    These commentators usually claim that net overseas migration (NOM) accounts for around 60% of Australia’s population increase, whereas “natural increase” (births minus deaths) accounts for around 40%.

    While this statement is true when looking at a given year, its is fundamentally wrong when examining population increase over a prolonged period.

    …Under zero NOM, Australia’s population is projected to be 25.1 million people in 2066. This is exactly the same as Australia’s current population and 17.5 million less than with medium NOM.

    What this proves is that 100% of Australia’s projected future population growth will come from immigration – both directly as migrants jump off the plane and indirectly as migrants have children and later grandchildren.

    Further, plus graphs and ABS links from here:
    https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2018/11/immigration-to-drive-100-of-australias-future-18m-population-growth/

    Population per Australian bau is a ticking bomb. Worse, it’s of the superheated steam exploding boiler kind – not merely a blast wave upon failure, but a flesh stripping ever widening ground zero.

    There are other ways of doing population that a resident population may even like and benefit from. Dare I mention, for instance:
    https ://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/viktor-orban-family-policies-western-criticism-by-mitchell-a–orenstein-2019-03

  34. The thing that upsets me most about One Nation is the utter lack of empathy with indigenous Australians, which tips over into racism if you define that term broadly. While Hanson has made comments about Asians etc in the past that are mildly racist, she has also ran Asian candidates under the One Nation banner, such as Tshung Chang in Western Australia.

    Incidentally a Lebanese Muslim is running in the NSW state election under the One Nation banner: https://www.news.com.au/national/politics/im-a-muslim-this-is-why-i-joined-one-nation/news-story/62be205860e630d24ea7fde2144a3d0c

    One Nation candidates often seem borderline unhinged, such as Malcolm Roberts and his sovereign citizen and Agenda 21 nonsense. Fraser Anning, on the other hand, is a disgrace and should be shunned.

    On balance, I don’t believe it wise to disengage with One Nation given the parties sizable following in the electorate.

  35. There is also this study (without prejudice) https://www.cis.org.au/app/uploads/2018/11/pp11-eb.pdf

    Notable quotations “The Lowy Institute’s annual polling, which found an increase of 17 percentage points between 2014 (37%) and 2018 (54%) in the number of people answering that the current rate of immigration is ‘too high.”

    My belief is that this is media driven and public opinion is being influenced by the distortions, exaggerations and untruths from media personalities, most of whom are in the pay of Murdoch.

  36. The idea that it is only pale, male and stale News Ltd aficionados who want immigration cut is baloney.

    We live a a dry, infertile continent with an erratic climate and that should dictate our population size. Also note that Melbourne is again resorting to desalinated water, so arguably we already pushing against the boundary of what is sustainable. If you seriously think that Oz can squeeze in a billion plus people no problemo because we are almost as big as China, you need a reality check.

  37. paul walter says: March 22, 2019 at 12:16 am – Re: robodebt/robofraud and “many people were driven to suicide, nervous breakdowns and attempted suicides, ..social security system…dismantled”

    I caught a dose of scomorobofrauditis early last year myself. At first I was flummoxed, but looked into the issue, and then deep disgust as a motivator kicked in. Being somewhat of a hoarder, and not having ditched the hoard due to, say, a house move or computing catastrophe I was lucky to eventually find at home more than enough ancient corroborating evidence from multiple sources to support me, and so I set about planning a devastating vengeful march through the system to the full fed Court dragging along the duplicitous ATO in particular into the trap. I put that on hold late last year after hearing from Vic Legal Aid researching for a class action they have now begun. I passed on some angles they’d not seen prior. I believe I may have steered them into several avenues arising from my Hansard wanderings – some important illegalities had been craftily slipped through cracks in stretched Senate Community Affairs procedures regarding the culpability and collusion of not only the DHS and ministers and admin, but also the ATO and OAIC. Robodebt in practice requires the collusion of all, and a witting contempt of lawful administration. I await the Vic Legal Aid case outcome and the election; one or the other ought clear up the scomorobofrauditis while I rest. I believe SERCO, Australian Receivables Limited, &etc., have lately eased off due to similar considerations. The taxpayers’ funds wasted on this misgovernment scam, the legal costs so far at the AAT, the FOI mills, and the ultimate repayments and compensation are staggering on top of the deaths of which some are documented below.

    The first doc below I’ve on file in pdf (deceased people Answer to Question on Notice Siewert 19-31May18 from DHS Employment Income Confirmation (Online Compliance Intervention) – QuRefNo HS 44 (SQ18-000105) 16July18). This was an issue to the side of other research last year, and, sorry, I didn’t note the url/search path then. You may find a link by searching for SQ18-000105 amongst https ://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Senate_Estimates/ca That search does find the second doc below, a supplementary question SQ18-000176 that Senator Siewert asked DHS on 25 October 2018. Senators Siewert and Watts have been the outstandingly diligent hard working champions of the victims of these misgovernment crimes.

    (Page 1/1)
    Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee
    BUDGET ESTIMATES 2018–19 – 31 MAY 2018
    ANSWER TO QUESTION ON NOTICE
    Department of Human Services
    Topic: Employment Income Confirmation (Online Compliance Intervention) – deceased people
    Question reference number: HS 44 (SQ18-000105)
    Senator: Siewert
    Type of question: Written
    Date set by the committee for the return of answer: 16 July 2018
    Number of pages: 1
    Question:
    Between 1 July 2016 and now under the OCI:
    a) How many people have become deceased after an accounts payable notice was sent?
    b) How many people have become deceased after an initiating OCI letter was sent?
    c) For each person who became deceased after receiving any OCI letter, what is the length of time between the most recent OCI related letter sent prior to death and their death?
    d) How many people became deceased after seeking reassessment?
    e) How many people became deceased after making a debt repayment?
    f) How many were deceased prior to receiving a letter under the OCI?
    g) How many estates have been considered sufficient and insufficient?
    Answer:
    The Department records the date a customer becomes deceased in a number of instances. The Department may be advised by family members or through data matching with the Registrar General’s Office. The Department has analysed the data to determine answers to the questions asked. As a result of the notification processes and the nature of the data, this is not a precise record. It is also misleading to draw conclusions around the events being referred to as there are also a wide number of other factors affecting customers of the Department.
    Since 1 July 2016, the data the Department has available shows:
    a) 517
    b) 1,345
    c) The average length of time was 173 days.
    d) The Department cannot readily report reassessments prior to a person becoming deceased.
    e) 313
    f) 197
    g) 24 and 246 respectively.

    (Page 1 of 3. Supplementary Answer to Question on Notice Siewert 24Oct18 (SQ18-000176). DHS answer 12Feb19 )
    Question on notice no. 28
    Portfolio question number: SQ18-000176
    2018-19 Supplementary budget estimates
    Community Affairs Committee, Human Services Portfolio
    Senator Rachel Siewert: asked the Department of Human Services on 25 October
    2018—
    In reference to a question at the previous estimates (SQ18-000105) could the
    Department please provide updated figures and answer:
    (a) How many of these deceased individuals responded, interacted or made
    contact to the department after the OCI letter?
    (b) How many of these deceased individuals were marked as vulnerable/
    previously marked as vulnerable?
    (c) What is the breakdown of current recipient/ex recipient at the date of death?
    (d) What is the age breakdown of these deceased individuals?
    (e) What was the average and median debt size for these individuals?
    (f) What is the sex breakdown for these individuals?
    (g) What is the payment type breakdown for these individuals?
    (h) How many of these individuals were referred to a social worker, Lifeline or a
    similar service?
    Answer —
    Please see the attached answer.

    (Page 2/3)
    Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee
    SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET ESTIMATES – 25 OCTOBER 2018
    ANSWER TO QUESTION ON NOTICE
    Department of Human Services
    Topic: Online Compliance Intervention – Deceased People
    Question reference number: HS 28 (SQ18-000176)
    Senator: Siewert
    Type of question: Written
    Date set by the committee for the return of answer: 6 December 2018
    Number of pages: 2
    Question:
    In reference to a question at the previous estimates (SQ18-000105) could the Department please provide updated figures and answer:
    a) How many of these deceased individuals responded, interacted or made contact to the Department after the OCI letter?
    b) How many of these deceased individuals were marked as vulnerable/previously marked as vulnerable?
    c) What is the breakdown of current recipient/ex recipient at the date of death?
    d) What is the age breakdown of these deceased individuals?
    e) What was the average and median debt size for these individuals?
    f) What is the sex breakdown for these individuals?
    g) What is the payment type breakdown for these individuals?
    h) How many of these individuals were referred to a social worker, Lifeline or a similar service?
    Answer:
    The updated figures for previous estimates question SQ18-000105 for period 1 July 2016 to 31 October 2018 are as below:
    No. of people deceased after an accounts payable notice sent
    812
    No. of people deceased after an Employment Income Confirmation letter was sent
    2,030
    The average length of time between most recent Employment Income Confirmation letter sent prior to death and their death
    222 days.
    No. of people deceased after making a debt repayment
    504
    No. of people deceased prior to receiving a an Employment Income Confirmation Letter
    235
    No. of estates considered sufficient and insufficient
    44 and 358 respectively.

    (Page3/3)
    a) The Department cannot readily identify all methods of recipient interaction. Many of these interactions may occur via processes where the contact is recorded manually and date is therefore not readily available.
    b) 663
    c) 1,423 current recipients at the date of death and 607 non-current recipients at the date of death.
    d) Age breakdown of deceased recipients: Deceased Recipient Age No. of recipients 16 to 25 102 26 to 35 327 36 to 45 347 46 to 55 466 56 to 65 536 66 to 80 251 81 to 100 1 Total 2,030
    e) The average and median debt of deceased recipients: Debt Raised Total
    Average Debt $2,377
    Median Debt $1,248
    f) Deceased recipient gender: Deceased Recipient Gender Female 637 Male 1,393
    g) Breakdown of deceased recipient payment type for current customers: Deceased Recipient Payment Type Disability Support Pension 520 Newstart Allowance 503 Age Pension 252 Other1 148
    1 Other includes Austudy, Carer’s Allowance, Paid Parental (Single & Partnered) and Sickness Allowance.
    h) Referrals to Social Work Services are captured manually in a data field where data extraction cannot be undertaken. As such, it would be an unreasonable diversion of resources to obtain this information.
    The Social Work Information System that is utilised by the Department’s Social Workers also involves a manual entry and does not capture the volume

    https://www.legalaid.vic.gov.au/about-us/news/i-have-duty-were-challenging-centrelinks-robo-debt-process
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/centrelink-debt-recovery
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/centrelink

  38. Thanks rog. I’m not sure anybody is reporting that attitudes towards immigration in general haven’t changed significantly in the last 5 years.

    The key difference is whether we think that’s due to ‘housing prices’, ‘lack of infrastructure’ etc (most polls)

    Or because ‘half of Australians think Muslims just won’t integrate’. (almost no polls)

    I don’t think we’re really in disagreement to be honest.

  39. Svante, yes I get all that. ABS population projection methodology hasn’t changed in at least a decade or two. What I asked was, where did you read this:

    “migrant contribution to births in Australia currently runs at near half”

    That’s certainly not what that article stated.

  40. PS in this Brave New Austria we’re planning, are people allowed to travel overseas, meet their loved one, return home together and have children?

  41. Yes, Svante, I recall reading the figure of around 600 deaths, many/most involving suicide and have burned with anger throughout the entire Robodebt saga.

    And they wonder why people don’t trust the system and get anxious about further weakenings, which must follow if the conservatives are left in government.

    On your situation, I’ve always thought the sweetest victories are the hardest fought for and yes I am also having dealings with them concerning a simple benefits application that has become really unsettling, in our “designed” system. Do corporations like Chevron and Glencore have such problems when they dodge payment of even a penny of tax?

    But I don’t know why the system was made so much crueler during Turnbull government times unless it was to panic millions of poorer people into fear of being driven into social Securitie’s clutches through higher unemployment.

    Right or wrong, this vicious policy will be invariably linked to imports of cheap labour in the minds of many traumatised people.

  42. I think people who have not experienced the disempowerment system cant begin to understand why people subject to it loathe it so much. It has always been a bit unpleasant to deal with, but over the last half dozen years it has become a Kafkaesque apparatus of torment developed by some very sick minds.

    You could say it represents an attempt at the universalisation of Manus/ Nauru, gradually to be worsened as time passes.

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