Cen­tre­link ser­vice want­ing

JA­SON’S CORNER

Kalgoorlie Miner - - OPINION - Cato, Ro­man states­man and his­to­rian (234BC149BC) Ja­son Men­nell Ja­son Men­nell is a jour­nal­ist at the

Govern­ment bu­reau­cracy is an ugly beast and Cen­tre­link is a prime ex­am­ple of it.

I had the mis­for­tune of deal­ing with the Depart­ment of Im­mi­gra­tion sev­eral years ago when I sub­mit­ted an ap­pli­ca­tion to re­main in Aus­tralia.

Af­ter pay­ing a small for­tune and stat­ing my name, coun­try of ori­gin, date of birth and what I ate for break­fast about 25 times over the course of two years, I was given the nod to re­main in Aus­tralia.

The process was de­signed to de­ter all but the most de­ter­mined.

But be­ing granted res­i­dency to Aus­tralia should prob­a­bly not be easy and I took it on the chin.

Cen­tre­link, how­ever, is a dif­fer­ent beast al­to­gether.

It is a pub­lic-fac­ing depart­ment and its clients are Aus­tralian cit­i­zens and res­i­dents.

And it is dif­fi­cult to deal with, to put it mildly.

I know this be­cause my wife has had the mis­for­tune of try­ing to sort out our child­care sub­si­dies.

I am ex­tremely grate­ful such a scheme ex­ists, but it is a re­cip­ro­cal ar­range­ment.

It means we can work and, in re­turn for af­ford­able child­care, the Govern­ment en­joys the ben­e­fit of our tax con­tri­bu­tions. Registering is no easy task. Af­ter many hours spent in a Cen­tre­link of­fice last year, my wife achieved the de­sired re­sult.

Hav­ing run the gaunt­let once, we thought that was it.

But at the end of last year, a bu­reau­crat who has clearly never ven­tured into a Cen­tre­link of­fice, and cer­tainly not with a young child in tow, de­cided par­ents would need to re-reg­is­ter ev­ery school hol­i­day.

Why? More time was wasted in the lo­cal of­fice re-registering so our sub­sidy was in the sys­tem — or so we thought. Ap­par­ently not.

Our provider took the full amount, be­cause we had ap­par­ently not re-reg­is­tered with Cen­tre­link so there was no au­to­matic sub­sidy.

Our ac­count was left over­drawn and we un­der­stand it will take sev­eral weeks to be re­turned.

And that is that. No apol­ogy, no im­me­di­ate ac­tion.

If Cen­tre­link were a pri­vate en­tity, heads would roll, peo­ple would grovel and the money would be in our ac­count to­mor­row. But it’s not, so we will wait pa­tiently while our tax pays for the bu­reau­crats’ long lunch breaks and first-class travel.

And while they in­vent other ways to make our lives more dif­fi­cult, we will con­tinue to pump money into the sys­tem to pay for their pub­lic-ser­vant ben­e­fits. Fi­nal Des­ti­na­tion 6 would be too ex­pen­sive to make.

It’s been more than seven years since the fifth in­stal­ment in the hor­ror fran­chise — which starred the likes of Ali Larter and Tony Todd — and now Todd has opened up on the pos­si­bil­ity of an­other film in the se­ries.

He told Bloody Dis­gust­ing: “I am (sur­prised) but I know why there hasn’t been (an­other se­quel). It’s re­ally an ex­pen­sive film to shoot.

“Just get­ting whatever ac­ci­dent set pieces, like for ex­am­ple part two with the whole traf­fic ac­ci­dent, that took a good five weeks to shoot and at least 20 mil­lion bucks. So there are other films like the Annabelle films which just fo­cused on a doll that they can shoot for a lot cheaper and still make money.”

Pic­ture: Daniel Wilkins

Deal­ing with Cen­tre­link can be a time-con­sum­ing and frus­trat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

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