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Monday, 21 November 2011
Page: 8960

Senator BERNARDI (South Australia) (11:58): Thank you, Minister. I hear your words and I understand you have accepted some advice in respect of this but I have grave concerns that they are platitudes; they are just about implementing a pilot program that is going to be neither effective nor efficient.

That brings me to another question in respect of the suspension of income support payments where parents fail to attend appointments with Centrelink without a reasonable excuse or fail to sign an employment pathway form. I understand that, as part of this, when parents comply with the employment pathway plan after having had a failure they get full repayment of their benefits. But let us imagine a scenario in which a parent fails to comply for a period of weeks and thus has no income support coming through. Has the government considered the impact it would have on the child who is in the care of the parent if possibly the only form of income for supporting and sustaining the child were suspended?