Posts Tagged ‘Transport’

Is it all that’s it cracked up to be?

January 23, 2018
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Birds always understand

 

With all the activities of the last few months, time has arrived for reflection and ponderings. I leave it to the readers to judge the veracity of my claims. What are those claims? Well, amongst many that I hold, one dearest to my heart has always been that many hold Australia high up the ladder when it comes to the level of social benefits. We often read that our system of welfare is being exploited by loafers and bludgers. Single mums are deliberately having babies so they can siphon financial support which they squander on drugs, clothes, and make-up. Refugees, especially those from bombed out sandy regions near the Euphrates and Tigris river systems are also on the list of exploiting Australia’s wonderful social, almost paradisiacal systems. ( the best in the world) They invade Australia, take our women, jobs, and wear funny clothes.

I don’t hold that view. In fact we believe the opposite to be closer to the truth. The proof is in our social benefits expenditure. Just peruse this site;

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-03/kevin-andrews–makes-unfounded-welfare-claim/5215798

It might be a couple of years old but if anything, it has gotten worse. Or, look at this!

https://www.crikey.com.au/2014/05/30/australias-overly-generous-welfare-in-context/

Statistically, Australia lags  behind  most OECD countries in welfare spending, so why do we persist in calling Australia a social paradise?

From AIM; “There is  a ruthless and selfish ruling oligarchy in this country that has a badly inflated and misplaced positive view of itself that continues to inflict injustice on Australia’s poor and disadvantaged in general and even on the working and much of the middle class. For example wealth inequality has returned to the levels of over 100 years ago.”

Our expenditure equals that of the US in about 19.5 % of GDP spending on social welfare. In the US many also hold the view that too much is spent on welfare while clearly that is not the case. The difference that I believe, is that many of the inhabitants of most OECD countries hold a view that pensions, unemployment money, sickness benefits and more are a ‘right’ and not a ‘hand-out’  as is often suggested here. Just the term ‘dole’ or ‘dole-bludger’ is diminishing and belittling. It seems to suggest a beggar with cap in hand. A term that would certainly not be allowed to be used in many countries. A well governed country holds the view that the old, the sick and the unfortunate need to be cared for. Enough revenue (taxation) has to be raised to pay for it.

We had some experience with the creaking social welfare. It was suggested that with continuing health issues and advancing years Helvi would be entitled to ‘aged care’. We had a lengthy interview from a Commonwealth officer and a plan was put into action where she could be provided with some subsidized services.

A domestic service with assistance to house-cleaning was suggested. The other,  a transport service also falling under ‘Community Service.’ It all sounded very good. However, the Government seems to have sub-contracted those services out to private institutions. Many have religious names such as Anglo-Care, Presbytery care, Community Transport (volunteer). The suggested services were all full and had no open positions for home cleaning. The above services are subsidized but payment is still requested. So far we have been unable to get much traction on the home-cleaning front and the social event of a river cruise is put on a poll basis. Names are pulled out of a hat because the demand is bigger than they can accommodate. I wonder why a bigger bus is not used or a bigger boat. In any case, I had not been assessed on receiving ‘Community Aged Care.’ Only Helvi might be allowed on this river cruise. It all sounds so strange. I am Helvi’s husband (for over 55 years)! I was subsequently assessed as well from a kind lady spending another afternoon tapping away on her laptop. I too am now entitled to house cleaning and a river cruise. A second suggestion is a trip to the War Museum in Canberra.

We can’t wait to look at cannons, guns and roses.

 

 

 

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The torture of Dept. of Human Services

April 6, 2017

 

photoSalvia Nr 1

Salvia

Our day will involve getting our travel concession travels sorted out. I  felt so proud a few weeks ago. I finally managed to get our Opal travel cards. This is the card you need when catching trains, buses or even a ferry. You get to tap it on a metal pole at the beginning of the journey as well as at the end. The pole seems to recognize your unique profile and deducts the cost of your travel from this magic card. It seems rather lugubrious that we are now identifiable by plastic cards that we store in our wallets. What happens to my ‘profile’ after I am gone? Will I just be remembered by my Opal card?

It wasn’t an easy journey to finally get this card. A big problem with modernity is that no matter where one goes or what one intents to achieve, one needs to log on to something. The logging on is presented as a heaven on earth. ‘Just log on to some dot.com. and the world is your oyster.’ As if! What they don’t tell you is that as soon as one tries and ‘log on’ it asks for your profile. This is some kind of internet mug shot. To establish this profile one needs a password. This password needs to be well hidden and it is suggested to write it down. I had a booklet of those passwords but I have lost it. Almost all dotcoms tell you to never let anyone know your passwords.  As soon as I got yet another password I quickly used to write it down in my special red coloured password booklet. But this booklet was so well hidden, it is lost.

This in reference to a letter addressed to ‘Dear Gerard.’ from the Dept. of NSW transport. It seems  we are no longer eligible for the Gold Opal card. (because of a change in our circumstances.) We both need to act and cancel our Gold Opal card and change over to a different Opal card. If we don’t we will not only lose our Gold Opal card but also lose any credit that still exists on our present cards.

The sting is that to achieve the change you need to log on to opal.com.au. As my passwords are so well hidden they are lost I can’t log on. However we could also go to a real office and get it changed manually by a Government employee. In an effort to squeeze more money out of the taxpayer many departments are now bundled together into just one. It is called Department of Human Services. I have some experience with it. Human services my a*”se.

A while ago I was fined twice for illegal parking. I checked it out and both parking infringements posted out to me occurred on the same day and at the same time within the same second and minute. How could that be? However, in my gallant effort to get one of those fines cancelled, I just about lost the will to go on. I desperately tried to log on  to the Infringement department of the Motor Transport, even to the extend to request a new password. ( the old one was hidden, remember!)  It was hell, and I was reduced to just incoherently tapping over my computer. Milo looked up and knew something was terribly wrong too.  After recovering I ended up going to the Human Services and had the fine cancelled. The Human Services girls were dressed up in a cheery red uniform but were as difficult to contact as it was on the internet. One told me to stop shouting. I wasn’t shouting.

So, in about an hour or so and after a shower we will go to this Human Services office to try and sort out our Opal travel card. I will keep you informed. I do hope we won’t need our passwords.

 

Why is everything so much more complicated?