(TheGoulburnPost) Child Support backdown
There is a response below from Lionel Richards, Convenor / Moderator and International Advocate for fathers groups
THE Member for Hume Alby Schultz has confirmed two local constituents will be remitted monies unrightfully claimed by the Child Support Agency.
Mr Schultz said he had raised serious concerns in Parliament about the operation of the Child Support Agency after receiving a number of complaints from constituents in the Hume electorate.
Mr Schultz said the agency had shown "arrogant disregard and disrespect for clients" and in his view, had acted illegally by garnisheeing funds from clients' bank accounts without giving them adequate opportunity to dispute the debts being alleged.
Mr Schultz's speech to the Parliament grabbed the immediate attention of both the Child Support Agency and the Parliamentary Secretary responsible for its operations.
"I concluded my speech on Thursday morning and by that afternoon I had both representatives from the CSA and the Parliamentary Secretary Chris Pyne in my office.
"I showed them the documentary evidence and the Parliamentary Secretary agreed to investigate the matter further," Mr Schultz said.
"In one example, a constituent had almost $9000 withdrawn from his bank account without first being notified.
"This man had been arguing with the Child Support Agency for many years about how his child support was being calculated and had on several occasions attempted to provide documents proving his case.
"After pressure from me the Agency admitted it acted inappropriately by garnisheeing this man's money without first notifying him, however even though the dispute had not been settled, the agency claimed it could not return his $9000 because it had already been paid to his ex-wife," Mr Schultz said.
"In a second more recent example, the Agency withheld a tax return of about $3000 from a man who has dutifully paid his child support on time, every time, for many years.
"In a letter from the Agency, this man was told he would have 28 days to dispute an alleged debt of almost $5000.
However the Agency seized his tax return and delivered it to his ex-wife, within the 28 days, and before he was able to contact them."
Mr Schultz said in another example a young man committed suicide after what his mother described as an ongoing battle with the Child Support Agency. Soon after his death the Agency contacted the man's mother and demanded her details, in an attempt to reclaim an outstanding debt from his deceased estate.
"On Friday, Mr Pyne confirmed that on his instruction the Child Support Agency would be repaying a majority of the money taken, until a full investigation of the facts could be carried out."
In addition, the Parliamentary Secretary had agreed to meet with Mr Schultz this week to further discuss the operations of the Child Support Agency, with a view to dismantling and restructuring some of its processes.
"I am particularly keen to discuss with him the way in which payments are calculated, based on a person's gross income rather than their net income," Mr Schultz said.
"The strong point I was making was that I am no longer going to tolerate that sort of nonsense by any department, any bureaucrat or any employee of a department that deprives my constituents of their rights, and abuses their role in the community as law-abiding people fulfilling the obligations that they have under the legislation," he said.
Sunday, 8 August 2004
http://goulburn.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?class=news subclass=local category=general%20news story_id=326921 y=2004 m=8
From: Lionel (OzyDads)
August 10, 2004
Alby Schultz MP
Member for Hume
According to OzyDads member Jan Baker, you are the best thing since sliced bread and I must say that I'm inclined to agree with her having read your media release and quotes in the recent Goulburn Post article "Child Support backdown"
http://goulburn.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?class=newssubclass=local category=general%20news story_id=326921 y=2004 m=8
For years the Child Support Agency has been acting as a law unto itself. The CSA claims that $M?? is owed by "dead-beat dads" but many of these are in fact dead buried having been driven to suicide by the sheer helplessness of their situation.
The CSA should be forced to disclose how many of their paying clients have died from unnatural causes, freak accidents and/or suicide. The figure will astound you. I understand that more than TWENTY suicides per week are directly attributable to the CSA.
On behalf of the many OzyDads members who are victims of the misandrist FCA and CSA policies and procedures, I thank you for speaking out on this blatant inequity. OzyDads is NOT a strictly a MEN'S group with around 25% of our members being female. Every father who is disenfranchised from his children has a mother who never sees her grandchildren.
Please also address the issue of Equal Time Shared Custody. This is about the child's right to the love, nurturing and protection of BOTH parents.
Good luck in the upcoming election. We need more politicians like you.
Lionel A Richards email@example.com
156 Feast Rd Serpentine WA
(mail to) PO Box 1081 Fremantle 6160 WA
Phone (08) 9525 2135 or 0411 740075
WA State Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Convenor / Moderator
OzyDads Online Forum www.OzyDads.net
CSA Clients Network www.CSAclients.net
Male Victims Network www.MaleVictim.net
Family Rules Forum www.FamilyRules.net
SRL Support Network www.SelfRep.net
Joint Parenting Forum www.JointParenting.net
STOP/Parental Alienation Forum www.StopPAS.info
Disenfranchised by Kidnap www.Disenfranchised.net
The OzyDads Support Network www.OzyDads.com also at www.AussieDads.com
The Council for the Status of Fathers www.FatherStatus.org
The Family Mending Network www.FamilyMending.net
Founding affiliate member (and former State Director)
The Shared Parenting Council of Australia www.spca.org.au