Diary of a Breached Unemployed Worker

By Daryl McDonald, AUWU member

Thursday 27th. Aug 2015

I discovered that Work for the Dole is been held on Mondays and Tuesdays. So i asked Stephen Morrison if i could do my Work for the Dole on those days, which he said i could. I asked him what do i have to do to arrange that, he told me to just turn up on those days. In order to keep within my contract obligations i still came in on the Friday for that week, and start the Monday and Tuesdays Work for the Dole next week.

Monday 31st. Aug 2015

I met the two ladies there and introduced myself, i told them that i am from Thursday and Fridays Work for the Dole and have just transferred over. That is when they informed me that i cannot do that because of the limited number of vacancies they have available. They said i can remain there on that day and Tuesday, but i would have to go back to Thursday and Fridays.

Daryl McDonlad


Alleged offence Friday 11th. Sep 2015

During Work for the Dole i was on You Tube trying to line up some music to listen to while working. I’m not very experienced on that site and i was having a little trouble establishing something to listen to.

Stephen Morrison walked past, glanced at my monitor and said i was watching music videos. Before i could explain to him what i was actually doing he’d already walked off. Nothing more was said. I was not at any time given any warning that my unemployment payments would be jeopardised.

Thursday 17th. Sep 2015

Got an email from Centrelink telling me i have a letter. Because i often get letters from Centrelink with information that i already know, i thought i would read it the next day when my unemployment form was due.

Friday 18th. Sep 2015

I logged on to my Centrelink account to lodge my unemployment form as usual, and it was then that i discovered that i cannot lodge my form and that my unemployment payments have been suspended, and to call the Participation Solutions Team on 1300 306 325 that day.

Called 9.38am. Duration 1 hour 12 minutes

Spoke to Bilma. Receipt No.524 924

I rang the number and spoke to Bilma. She told me my payments have been suspended because i didn’t turn up for Work for the Dole on the 3rd. and 4th. September, and she asked me why.

I explained to her that i attended Work for the Dole on the 31st. Aug and 1st. Sep instead. She asked me who said i can do that, i told her Steve Morrison. She then asked me about the incident on the 11th. Sep.

See above paragraph titled Alleged offence Friday 11th. Sep 2015.


She put me on hold after i explained everything to her, then when she came back she told me that my payments are reinstated, but she is going to penalise me $54.88c for the incident on the 11th. September. So immediately i told her that i’m going to appeal against that decision. She said i have that right, i said i know. She gave me an appeal number. She then made an appointment for me at my Jobactive centre for the following Monday. I assume it was to discuss the incident further and to state my appeal. I asked her for a receipt number for that call, which she obliged.

Monday 21st. Sep 2015

Went into Direct Recruitment and spoke to Inchi, we spoke about the incident on the 11th Sep. After i explained the situation to her she said my penalty will be withdrawn and i will get my full payment.


Money was taken out 5 Oct 2015.

But then she went on and said that i’ve watched You Tube there in the office as well. I always get to the Jobactive centre early, and as a result there is often at least a few minutes wait. So to make the best use of my time i get on their computers and use it to look for work while i’m waiting. Now that Inchi claims that i watch You Tube videos, i can no longer use their computers for job search in order to protect myself. Another thing she said was that the $54.88c penalty is not a big deal.


Monday 2nd. Nov 2015

Ring up Inchi and ask her to ring Centrelink and tell them it has already been resolved and to cancel it. If not, ask for the Complaint in writing in relation to the act.

She said she can’t do that because Centrelink won’t speak to her about it, and she refused to give me the complaint in writing in relation to the act.

Rang Centrelink in relation to the letter i got Dated 20th Oct 2015. Asked to speak with John Cleary, i got Micheal instead and he said that John Cleary is not in for the rest of the week. I asked him if he could reverse the decision based on the fact that the report is inaccuate. He said no, and to just contact the AAT and make an appeal with them.


Wednesday 4th Nov 2015

On another matter, i wrote to Centrelink complaining about not been allowed to look for work on the internet during my Work for the Doll activity. After receiving a letter on 2/11/15, dated 26/10/15, i rang Centrelink (Customer Relations Unit) and had a conversation about my Complaint letter. She told me that the information i was told was incorrect, and that i am allowed to look for work on the internet during my Work for the Doll activity.

Monday 9th Nov 2015

Rang up the Department of Employment on 1800 805 260 and spoke to Liz. Receipt No.228 586

I explained to Liz that the report for Inappropriate Behaviour was inaccurate. She told me there wasn’t anything she could do for me, and advised me to just take it to the next level, meaning the AAT.

Rang the Administrative Appeals Tribunal on 1800 228 333 to launch an appeal. Spoke to Maria, a Case Manager. She said i will get an acknowledgement letter next week. The Hearing will be in the next few weeks.


Wednesday 11th Nov 2015

Rang Direct Recruitment to speak with Inchi Fang about not been able to attend Work for the Doll due to doing a Management course. I was told she is on holidays and she won’t be back until next week. So i spoke to Dieu instead. She informed me that i have an appointment at 11am the next day that i knew nothing about. I told her that Inchi Fang said i didn’t have to come in again until after i have finished Work for the Doll. She claims that a letter was sent out to me in October. She then said that she’ll get back to me to rescedule the appointment.

Monday 16 Nov 2015

Got my letter from the AAT acknowledging my review. The letter reads as follows:

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Social Services & Child Support Division

Review Number: 2015/M088376

12 November 2015

Case Manager: Maria


Dear Mr McDonald


We have received your application for review of a decision made by the Department of Human Services (the Department).

What happens Now?

The Department will send you and us a copy of documents relevant to your application for review within 28 days. These documents will be used at the hearing.

We will write to you after we receive the documents from the Department to notify you of the day, time and place fixed for the hearing of the application.

Is there anything which I must tell the AAT before a date is fixed for the hearing?

You must tell us, if you have not already done so, whether you would prefer to come to the review hearing or to make your submissions by telephone. We will consider your preference in making the hearing arrangements.

If you have any disability-related needs, let us know so that those needs are taken into account in the hearing arrangements. If you need an interpreter at the hearing, let us know.

If you change your address or phone number, tell us so that we can contact you about the hearing and the outcome of the review.

Is there anything else that I need to know?

Our website www.aat.gov.au contains more information about us and review by us.

Your sincerely


For the Registrar

Tuesday 24 Nov 2015

I rang the Department of Employment National Customer Line Secretry on 1300 488 064, and they put me through to Job Active Phone No.13 62 68. Spoke to Belinda, and she informed me that Liz who i spoke to two weeks ago did make a note of my complaint.

(All this is starting to get very confusing)