How the AUWU Advocacy Hotline Got Me Back On Newstart

By Penumbra George Gently


Many thanks for the assistance provided by the Unemployed Workers Union to help get my
below poverty line payments known as ‘Newstart’ re-instated.

In the lead up to this situation I had attended centrelink Maroubra office in person multiple
times November 2015 to the present Jun 2016. Due to the fact that I was getting multiple cut
offs, instigated boy the jobnet monitors, Mission Prividence and MTC Maroubra.

I was having physical and psychologicial problems that persist, however when I was diagnosed
with post traumatic stress disorder and other medical conditions that require investigation and
medication . Centrelink refused to accept the standard doctor certificate and stopped payment.
I attended clink in person and requested an Employment services assessment three times.

Each time I was denied the assessment with a variety of dubious reasons given.
When i asked to speak to a supervisor to adress the issue I was denied the request and told to
supply a ‘Centrelink’ medical certificate.

I returned to my local General practitioner to request the Centrelink authorised medical
certificate. The doctor was not aware that such a document existed.

Eventually I got the required certificate after the doctor searched online for the Centrelink
document and downloaded it.However when I attended the chemist to get a medical prescription
to prevent heart attack orstroke, the chemist informed me that my medications would cost full price
because my healthcare card had been cancelled. At which time i was so broke, I could not afford the medication.
I returned to centrelink who once again tried to stone-wall me by assesing the medical certificate themselves.

Next they place me on the phone informing me I would have to talk to the ‘ work participation
team’. After an hour on the phone the person responding asked ‘ how i was managing to support
myself.’ then put me into a cycle of call transfers that ended in the phone being hung up from
their end.

It was at this point that I emailed Daniel from the Sydney branch of the Australian
Unemployed Worker’s Union and arranged to meet me the next day weds 12/05/2016/ At
Maroubra Clink to assist in my struggle and advocate for me.

Dan (as a representative of the A.U.W.U) presented in an extremely professional manner
introducing himself as the above and gave excellent counel and assistance.

The Clink representative advised me once again that I required a ‘Valid’ med certificate to get
an Employment Service Evaluation.

Whereby Dan insisted it is not a legal requirment and that he had received an E.S.A. at another
Clink office without supplying a medical certificate.

At this stage the Clink advisor contacted a supervisor who was the person that put me on the
phone on the previous visit.

The supervisor drew attention to the authorised Clink certificate and stated that the G.P. had
ticked ok to work in the box.

My response was that the Doctor is a G.P. not a Pyschologist or Psychiatrist so the box in
question is not valid; particularly since there is a pre-pysch diagnosis of post triaumatic stress
disorder and associated medical problems that require futher investigation.

In hindsight I would advise anyone in the same situation to stress to the G.P. to tick no to the
work fitness question as per reason above.

The supervisor responded by restoring my payments inclusive of back pay via computer and
made a booking for the requested E.S.A. (even though every other peron in Clink i encountered
has said payment resoration was not possible.)

A couple of days later Clink contacted me by phone to infome me they had booked the
requested Employment service evaluation.I attended and was informed by the Clink psychologist
that she would recommend a 3 month ‘non attendance’ period at the Job monitoring agency assigned to me.

However that it would be a reccomendation only and that the final say would be assessed by
another unseen beaurocrat.

As of this date I still have not received notification in writing from Clink as to my ‘ Job
monitoring’ requirements.

I am now investigating the new enterprise incentive scheme,to see if i can get away from the
parasite job monitors MTC job solutions and start my own pool servicing business.
Once again I thank the Australian Unemployed Workers Union Dan from the Sydney Branch
who gave powerful representation to uphold my rights and Owen Bennet (Melbourne office)
who assisted.

The batttle was won but the war is not over.

Yours in Job seeker emancipation.

Penumbra George Gently


I spoke to Matt Thistlewait Labour minister today (as he was canvassing the Matraville) area,
regarding job network issues .

I mentioned the Australian Unemployed workers union and the assistance given to me and it
appeard to ping his radar.