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Social Security Legislation Amendment (Improved Support for Carers) Bill 2009

CHAIR (Senator Moore) —Our committee is continuing its inquiry into the provisions of the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Improved Support for Carers) Bill 2009. I welcome back Ms Joan Hughes of Carers Australia. It is lovely to see you. You have information on parliamentary privilege and the protection of witnesses and evidence. Thank you very much for your submission. Would you like to make some opening comments?

Ms Hughes —Good morning and thank you very much for the opportunity to speak to our submission at this hearing. As all of you know, Carers Australia is the national peak body representing the diversity of 2.6 million family carers in Australia. Those family carers provide care to their family members and friends with a disability, mental illness, chronic condition or terminal illness or who are frail. We would like to state that we support the introduction of the improved support for carers bill. We see the introduction of the bill as an important step in addressing many of the unfair and inequitable rules and provisions that currently exist in the carer payment system and the broader income support system. However, we must state also that Carers Australia is very concerned that many carers who rely on Centrelink payments as their main source of income are living below the poverty line.

The 2007 review of the carer payment (child) was welcomed by us and we advocated very strongly for changes to the rules. It was of course welcomed by those family carers who care for children with a disability, a behavioural disorder, a mental illness, a terminal illness or a chronic condition. The subsequent task force report highlighted many of the problems that we had become aware of as an organisation and that we have sought to rectify for family carers that we represent. Some of the issues cannot be adequately addressed through the current bill and many of the proposed changes will also rely on the elements that will function alongside the amendment bill and the Social Security Act, including: policy and implementation, better service delivery and customer assistance processes. Further, there is a need for clarity, transparency and a clear continuation of the aims of the amendment bill with regard to these processes. Without this, the legislation cannot provide important support for carers.

Governments must address the real costs of disability care and support. Carers and people with disabilities are still the most disadvantaged groups in our society and governments have not kept pace with the adequate funding levels that are required in a comprehensive service system. For example, it is difficult to predict the content or the impact of the new disability care load assessment as it is not yet publicly available, and we have concerns around that. Policy will determine much of the new assessment and it is hoped that Centrelink and FaHCSIA will provide very extensive consultation processes with relevant parties—with family carers themselves—as they will play a very significant role in its development. The changes will also require a concerted and coordinated effort on the part of Centrelink and FaHCSIA. It is absolutely essential that all Centrelink staff have an adequate understanding of the new provisions and can pass this knowledge on to carers. That is probably one of our largest concerns, in that often policy does not keep pace with the training that is required of the people that have to deliver services, and we have concerns that in some Centrelink offices there is still a long way to go for those staff to truly understand the impact of caring on individual carers.

It is important also to be clear that, while Carers Australia supports the bill, we still hold some reservations around certain elements that could potentially impact negatively on carers, and we suggest that these should be considered and corrected where appropriate. I will give you one clear example that I think should be addressed fairly quickly in the amendments. There is still no provision for shared care of a single child who requires an intensive level of support and, while there are provisions for shared care between parents, care shared between other relatives on an informal basis would provide greater recognition for the diversity of caring family situations. I am sure the senators would be very aware that in families where you have children with very high support needs because of disability, terminal illnesses and chronic conditions there are high rates of divorce and separation and there are great strains on family relationships, so why would you not broaden it to include other people who are involved in the care of these children?

We also have concerns particularly with regard to the ongoing lack of recognition for or the measurement of the full extent of the impact of caring on family carers. This has long been neglected in the social security support system that carers access and it is unfortunately not addressed in the proposed changes to the legislation. I am sure the senators are aware that caring for these children not only is about physical and medical care but also has a huge psychological impact on family carers, so an assessment and qualification system that would measure the psychological impact of caring on family carers is essential as, for many, this is sometimes the most intensive part of the caring role.

Carers are often sleep deprived, stressed, distracted or constantly primed to respond to crises and to drop everything at work. All of these impacts have a great effect on a carer’s ability to be able to function in a workplace and maintain stable employment. I have discussed the need for this bill to be seen as part of a larger process, and it is important, too, that the proposed changes be considered in light of their relationship with the carer payment (adult), particularly when many carers will go on to receive it. It seems to us that this whole opportunity should make that transition even better, because the conditions for many of these children will not improve—they will actually deteriorate into adulthood and into aged care.

Further steps to align the carer payment (adult) with the carer payment (child) would improve the transition process, which is particularly important for many carers who will require income support over the life of the people whom they are looking after. Many people who are cared for are dependants well into adulthood, well into middle age and, now, well into older age. Reaching the age of 16 does not alter the fact and should not result in major upheaval for family carers reliant on income support as their main source of financial support. As such, we appreciate the steps that have already been taken to help the transition process in the proposed bill but we think more should be done.

Finally, Carers Australia looks forward to the introduction of these amendments. Particularly encouraging are those amendments that remove restrictions on hospital stays; allow for a qualification under a greater variety of situations, including episodic and short-term care; and respond more sensitively and sensibly to those experiencing terminal illnesses. The automatic qualification for carer allowance for those receiving carer payment (child) will ease the financial burden for many carers and simplify a process that often causes confusion and leads to carers missing out on crucial support. It is hoped that these improvements will be handled in a way that truly does bring improved support to carers, who are dedicated to providing care for their children.

Senator SIEWERT —Thank you for your submission. It is very clear and you have raised a whole lot of points that, quite frankly, I do not need to ask you about but need to ask the department about. I would like to follow up the issue of the care-load assessment process. Your submission and the other submissions make the very good point that it is hard to know what is going to happen with that until you actually see it, which is fairly obvious. My question to you is: should we be saying to the department that we do not know if we should be passing this until we see the assessment? Can they give us a draft of what it should look like so we can be assured that the issues that we know need to be covered are covered, or is it a process of getting the legislation through and then dealing with the assessment tool?

Ms Hughes —I think it is a really important question to ask. One would have thought that the government had developed some draft process, because this whole thing is going to be enacted fairly quickly. Our concern, as I said, is that we have not been consulted, and I would have thought that even in the drafting of something as important as a disability-load assessment they would have called in the experts, including us and other peak bodies. It is a great concern for us. Most importantly, as I said in my opening comments, we are really concerned that even the notion of a disability load—the title of it—does not really capture that which we think is crucial and that we have evidence about, which is looking at the psychological impact. It is not only about hours of support, it is not only about the sorts of things that you can measure easily like medication, treatments and therapies but really about looking at the impact of the care. I would even use the word ‘care’ rather than ‘disability’ in a sense, because this is also covering—

Senator SIEWERT —That is what we are talking about.

Ms Hughes —Yes. And it is covering children who have terminal conditions. It is not only about disability. Holding it up is probably your call. We have been waiting a long time for this in that sense, and these things take so long to enact. I think it is an absolutely crucial question to ask to see whether they could not provide you with some framework, because one would think that something has been put together.

Senator FIFIELD —A point of clarification on the same point: you say that you were not consulted, which we would all be concerned about in relation to the case load assessment questionnaire. In FaHCSIA’s submission to us, they say that the assessment of case load questionnaire was piloted with over 1,200 carers of children with disability or medical conditions, which is a good thing, but you are saying that, although they have done that, at no stage have FaHCSIA made contact with you, sought your views or put the draft of the questionnaire before you?

Ms Hughes —No, and we actually found out about the questionnaire through one of our carer members, who said, ‘Have you seen this questionnaire?’ and we said, ‘No; would you please send us through a copy?’ They have not done that yet, so we have not even seen that survey questionnaire. It is absolutely essential that FaHCSIA and Centrelink consult with family carers, because they are the people whom this is going to impact on, but we also have a role in this because we are dealing with all sorts of issues to do with family carers on a weekly basis. Family carers have that absolutely crucial personal experience, but we can also add to these surveys. We add to the evidence because we are dealing with carers right across the nation. We have been working in this area for decades now; we do know what we are talking about. We are not an agency or an organisation that has not been working in this area for a period of time, and we have now gathered a reputation for being fairly expert in understanding all the aspects of family carers across all caring situations.

Senator FIFIELD —I think it is extraordinary that you have not been consulted and I am sure that we will be falling over each other to raise that with FaHCSIA.

Senator SIEWERT —The point I was making as a side comment just then is that we do not even know if they are asking the right questions in the questionnaire, particularly on the points that you were talking about—the psychological impacts et cetera.

—I also think it is very important to realise that there are some families where there is more than one person requiring care, so we now have to be mindful that we have families where there are multiple care situations and responsibilities. Even though this is going to assist and hopefully make improvements for those families where there are children under 16 years who have high support needs, we have families where there is more than one child under 16. We have families where there is a child under 16, where there are other children with disabilities in their 20s and 30s and where people are now caring for older family members. When we are trying to improve a system that is in place—and I know it is really difficult to do; you cannot do this in legislation—we have to make sure that there are transition processes that make it easier for family carers, not more difficult. That is one of our biggest concerns around the transition to carer payment (adult).

Senator SIEWERT —There are a number of threads I want to follow up and that is one. I note there are still concerns about that transition. What additional amendments could be made to this bill that would better deal with that issue?

Mrs Hughes —An example would be where you know the condition of the child will require substantial care into the future and therefore substantial care as an adult. In that situation there must be a way of allowing people not to have to go through stringent assessment processes. It could be as simple as saying that if the condition has not changed then they would automatically be eligible to be rolled over. That is the sort of situation that a lot of family carers find quite demoralising and inhumane. They are asked questions that they have to deal with on an hourly basis. Many of them know that they are trying all the best things in the world to improve the health, care and opportunities for their children. But, as we know, for people with severe disabilities some of those conditions are not going to ‘get better’. You want to make sure for those people that there is a checklist and not an extensive eligibility-assessment process that they have to go through.

Senator SIEWERT —In terms of severe disability, you are saying that there is not going to be a sudden change in their condition when the child becomes an adult. Are you proposing that if you meet a certain criteria, and the child would have been assessed all its life, that it is automatic; that if there is a checklist with Centrelink there is an automatic rollover and an automatic transition to carer payment (adult)?

Mrs Hughes —Yes, and that checklist should be really simple. Carers get really upset with having to be reassessed. Obviously they want their children to have the best life possible, and they have to deal with that pressure all the time. For people to ask some of those questions repeatedly, I think is inhumane.

Senator SIEWERT —You would be aware of the adopt-a-pollie process in Western Australia. My adopted family has Luis, who has profound intellectual and physical disabilities. When he turned 18, they had to fill out a new form and one question was whether he could drive. That terribly upset the family.

Mrs Hughes —Because many would say, ‘If only he could.’ You do not want those inappropriate questions being asked. That just reinforces the stresses that these people have to manage every day.

Senator SIEWERT —I want to go to this issue of shared care, an issue I have been on about for a very long time. You talked about the shared care of a single child. I am surprised the amendments talk about shared care for two or more children and not a single child. I notice that you have picked up on it and so have a number of the other submissions. Have you spoken to the government about their rationale for not going with a single child?

Ms Hughes —No. It is absolutely illogical, to start with. It does not make sense, it is not fair and, as I said in my opening address, we know that in many of these families divorce, separation and strains on family relationships are much higher than in families where there are no children with disabilities. I could give you hundreds of cases where the care is shared amongst other people when there is a sole parent. For example, there are many situations where the care is shared with older people in the family—it could be grandparents—or with friends. I do not know whether it is people’s fairly, I would call, archaic notion of what family means now. In our Australian society family is around diversity. In these particular families it is even more diverse because of separation and divorce and people having to rely on friends. Carers Australia’s definition is that it is always family and friends, because we know that, in certain caring communities, caring populations, especially in areas like HIV-AIDS, include a whole range of people who share the care. To me, it has to be changed, because the reality is that you want to make amendments to reflect the real situation. We want to try to make this easier for people. So it is not only about parents; it is about other members in the family, and all of that could be easily changed, we believe. It is not that hard.

Senator HUMPHRIES —You might have answered this question already. I am sorry that I was not here at the start of the proceedings; I had a ceremonial duty to perform. Was Carers Australia on the task force that reported to the government in November 2007?

Ms Hughes —No, we were not but we were monitoring it very carefully. There are people who are connected to Carers Australia—for example, we have a group of carer ambassadors who are family carers themselves—and one of those people was involved in the original task force, but our organisation was not.

Senator HUMPHRIES —Can I clarify what you are saying to us about shared care arrangements. Where there is a shared care arrangement, we are not talking about there being two carer payments to parents, are we? We are talking about arrangements for a single payment to be split between two parents. You are saying that if a grandmother, an aunt or a cousin or someone is doing that shared caring they should be able to receive a part payment. You do not think there would be complications about trying to divide the payment by the percentage of care they provide or anything like that—you feel that simple arrangements could be made?

Ms Hughes —I think those arrangements are a matter for the family carer. They would have to work that out amongst themselves. You were not here, Senator Humphries, but in my opening address I did make a clear statement that Carers Australia has a huge concern about the situation for families who are totally reliant on Centrelink payments in order to survive, and many of those people are living below the poverty line. So, in the context of these amendments, we have a concern that, with some families where the parents have to give up work in order to provide care, be it their choice or be it that the system of disability and health services is not adequate, we will have people spiralling into poverty. That is a bigger issue than the amendments to this act. We would like to see that, where that care is so intensive and most of it is done by the parents and/or the family carers, they be eligible for more than one payment.

Senator HUMPHRIES —At the bottom of page 3 of your submission you say:

Consideration however, needs to be given to the need for ongoing assessment and compliance measurements for those who qualify for episodic or short-term payments.

You go on to say the arrangements should not be ‘substantially more burdensome than the requirements of other situations under which carers qualify for payment’. Can you explain what you mean by that?

Ms Hughes —At the moment it is a very difficult assessment process. What we are trying to say, even though it is very complex, is that we just want to make sure that it is fairly flexible and fairly sensitive. Sometimes, depending on the intensity of care and the health needs of the child, families will be reliant on more than one health professional to get some of that advice. It is just about how the health providers, in a sense, coordinate and have, what I would call, really good care and case management of that child. It is so difficult out there in the real world, because there are so many different types of assessment processes. Given all that, we are pleased that there are going to be payments for episodic qualification and for ongoing periods of three to six months; that is a very good thing. Whatever the system then is, we just want to make sure that it is really flexible and easy for families.

Senator FIELDING —First of all, I just want to say thank you for the work you do. Obviously carers are doing a tremendous job in Australia. They are saving the community a tremendous amount of money, although that is not the reason they do it; they do it because there are loved ones who need care. So I just want to say thank you. It is an area that I do not think has enough focus for all of us, from that point of view. I am interested in a bit of background first. When was the last time you had a conversation with FaHCSIA directly? Are you in touch with them at all?

Ms Hughes —We are. Carers Australia gets money through FaHCSIA to deliver a program for young people who have caring responsibilities. So, in a sense, it is a funder-provider relationship, and we are meeting with them regularly on those sorts of program issues. We do meet with them on a fairly regular basis regarding policy issues, and we invite their policy people to forums of management and CEOs of carers associations. We have a responsibility to them to keep them up to date with where our thinking is. I do not know whether it is a time factor, but we often feel like we are a part of the process towards the end rather than at the beginning. I know that a lot of reviews and a lot of policy changes are happening now under the new government and that causes a lot of stresses and strains. But, as I said before, Carers Australia is the national peak body. We do have lots of contact with individual family carers. Our carers are on our boards of management, so we are touch on a daily basis with family carers through the services we provide. But sometimes we feel that at a policy level we could be involved a lot earlier in the process of policy reform.

Senator FIELDING —Has that changed at all? It was not going to go ahead but I am interested in the survey and the questionnaire. Your submission is pretty good; you know your stuff and you know where the key rubs are for carers and the concerns they have. I am just asking whether it has changed. I am not after any problems; I am just asking: has it changed at all since the change in government or is it about the same?

Ms Hughes —No, it is different. I think it is mostly because so many reviews are happening at the moment. On Friday a report is going to be published on the inquiry by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family, Community, Housing and Youth into better support for carers. So everyone has been busy in different ways, trying to get the whole carer issue at the forefront of government policy.

Senator FIELDING —Some of the questions have already covered the issues I have. One of the other areas I want to touch on—which this bill does not necessarily deal with, although it goes into some of what is in FaHSCIA’s submission about the National Disability Agreement and the National Disability Strategy—is the link, as you were saying before, about carers and the high rate of family breakup et cetera. How important—and I am not talking about the long-term but weekly sort of thing where someone comes in for half a day and looks after the person while the carers get a break—is respite care? I am just trying to work it out, given that the strategy has come up. Have you been consulted much on that at all?

Ms Hughes —We are consulted in an adequate way with most reforms into carer support. In the national disability agreement there is now real reference to supporting family carers. That is probably very different from two decades ago. I think we are now at a very important time with respect to reform and policy development, for now and the future, where it is not about the person and it is not about the carer; it is about the whole of family. I think we should look at that in a service sense so that it is not groups pitching against each other. All of these families need support and they will need different interventions at different times, according to the health needs of the person and according to the individual needs of the family. Given that, it is important to note that between 75 and 95 per cent of care is still done by family carers. There has been an increase in respite provision over the last five years but respite is only one part of the picture. If you think about it, a carer is so tired that they have to have respite on a regular basis. That is probably an important thing, and if you ask carers what they need many of them would say that they want more respite, because they are so exhausted. If they are so exhausted, doesn’t that tell you something about the system?

Carers Australia’s position is now around a whole-of-family approach. It is around looking at the needs of the person requiring care and the needs of the family. It is around how you make sense of that as a whole and making sure that there are other services, like services for the person with a disability and services for the family. That may include things like counselling, education and training for families, so it is not only about respite.

Senator FIELDING —I have one final question about the carer payment and the changes to the age. I agree with you that age is not the critical point. The caring still goes on whether the person is 15, 24 or 45. Asking carers to prove it and going through those questions is an insult to them to a certain extent. You make the point that a carer who has already qualified for carer payment (child) at the commencement date should not be required to apply for carer allowance. Instead, carer allowance payments should be automatically credited. Is that pretty important?

Ms Hughes —Absolutely, because we are talking about intensive care situations here, and these people would automatically be eligible for that carer allowance, so why would you want them to go through another assessment process?

Senator FIELDING —Thank you.

Senator FIFIELD —Ms Hughes, in your submission on page 2 you make reference to the fact that a proportion of those who will become eligible for the carer payment as a result of this legislation will be existing income support recipients—I think you touched on this when you were answering one of Senator Humphries’s questions—and you are concerned that there will not be any unforeseen negative impacts. Could you give us a specific scenario of how you think it is possible that someone might be adversely affected?

Ms Hughes —I am not sure whether all the senators present today have our submission in front of them, but if you look at page 2 of Carers Australia’s submission, and if you look at the numbers of children under the age of 14 with a disability that have a profound or severe core activity limitation—that is a dreadful way to describe it, isn’t it, but we know what that means—we have got 390,000 children. And these figures are from 2003, so you would expect that number to be larger. If these amendments go through, FaHCSIA have said that there will be an additional 19,000 carers that will have access to the carer payment (child). Doesn’t that tell you something? I can give you some scenarios, but again I think it just highlights the whole problem that we have got with the caring situation in our community. Even if this goes ahead, it will open it up for more carers. But remember, as I said: once you become reliant on carer payment (child) and the carer allowance as your main source of income, that is a huge problem for those families regarding levels of poverty and what they can then access to support their children and other family members.

We want the legislation to go ahead, but there are huge concerns around levels of funding and adequacy for these families. I am quite concerned because, with the federal budget about to be upon us, we know that the government have committed to increasing pension rates to try to make that system reflect the adequacy of income for people around the cost of living. If they start to say, ‘Let’s just concentrate on one group of pensioners and leave other groups out,’ the groups that often get left out are the carers and people with disabilities. Yet those people do not have access to other concessions like national senior concessions. I do not want to pitch one group against the other because that is not right or fair either. Even though I am representing carers, I still have a commitment to making sure that whatever system is in place is going to be adequate for all of those people who have to access it because of their life circumstances. They should not be disadvantaged. Senator Fifield, I probably have not answered your question but I did not quite understand it. You were wanting to look at a scenario of—

Senator FIFIELD —You say that there is a proportion of people who are existing income support recipients who will now become eligible for the carer payment. You then say that—

Ms Hughes —No, there are people who cannot access it now who will be able to and that number will be an extra 19,000.

Senator FIFIELD —You are saying that a proportion of the people who will access it are existing income support recipients in other ways.

Ms Hughes —Not necessarily.

Senator FIFIELD —It is likely that a proportion of these people will be existing income support recipients.

Ms Hughes —Yes, but some of them will not.

Senator FIFIELD —That is right, but I am talking about those who are. You go on to flag that, in that circumstance, there may be unforeseen negative impacts on the income of these carers. I was interested in the unforeseen negative impacts and whether there are particular scenarios that you could give us to illustrate that.

Ms Hughes —I will get back to you on that.

Senator FIFIELD —If you could take that on notice.

Ms Hughes —I will give you two or three scenarios. Just off the top of my head I could give you a couple, but I will check on that and get back to you in the next day.

Senator FIFIELD —That would be helpful.

CHAIR —Perhaps we could ask that of Centrelink. Ms Hughes, Centrelink are not appearing today, but we are going to ask about their training as you have raised that in particular. That can be another question to Centrelink: whether there is any awareness of anyone who could be affected in that way. Ms Hughes, if you have your issues, please let us know as well.

Senator FIFIELD —You mentioned the knowledge of Centrelink staff, the importance of Centrelink staff being trained about these changes and the concern you have about a lack of understanding in some parts of Centrelink in relation to the needs and situations of carers. Are there particular states or particular Centrelink offices where there is a problem that you would like to point us towards?

Ms Hughes —Carers Australia meet regularly with Centrelink senior management around the issues of Centrelink staff understanding the impact of caring on carers when they have to front up to the Centrelink system. We have been working on that for quite some time. We have tried to encourage them. This needs to be funded. We would be very happy to provide Centrelink staff with some short training—it can be done over lunchtime—around them understanding that some of their customers are going through really tough times. We could do some awareness training with them. That has never been funded. We have done a couple of pilots in a couple of states and I would say that, possibly, in those states you might find more carer-friendly Centrelink staff.

Senator FIFIELD —Can you tell us which states they are?

Ms Hughes —No. I knew you would ask that question! I know that some of this work has been done in Queensland, but unless you actually surveyed those people—and you would have to survey the carers—it is just an academic argument, I guess. Where people are trained, you would think that the outcomes mostly would be that they would be more sensitive to their customer base. Centrelink have made some commitments to that but not nationally. I do not know whether senators are aware of this, but they did trial—and I think these still exist—senior carers centres in some of the states and territories. Are any of you aware of those? Senator Siewert, I think there was one in Western Australia.

Senator SIEWERT —I think there is. I do not recognise that name, though.

Ms Hughes —They were sort of seniors and carers centres, and they were set up and trialled to see whether there were certain Centrelink customers who could be, in a sense, treated in a slightly different way because of their life circumstances. They were supposed to be more senior and carer friendly. Those centres were also available to be used for training, information sessions and so on. I think that is the pathway that some Centrelink areas need to go down, because they are trying to be more customer friendly. I think Senator Ludwig has got a great commitment to trying to improve Centrelink culture, and sometimes that does take time. Again, Carers Australia can provide really good training for Centrelink staff—just to make them understand that there are hundreds and thousands of these people and families, and there are some things that, when you are engaging with a carer customer, would just make that transaction a little bit more friendly.

Senator SIEWERT —Innaloo, in Western Australia, I think is supposed to be one of those centres.

Senator FIFIELD —Ms Hughes, I have heard—and I will be checking this with FaHCSIA this afternoon—that, over the four months of this year, there has been a significant increase in the number of people claiming the carer payment. One rationale which has been put to me is that a number of people who are finding themselves newly unemployed are looking at their own home circumstances and realising that they would be eligible for the carer payment, and are choosing to apply for the carer payment and conduct their domestic arrangements in a new way rather than claiming unemployment benefits and endeavouring to manage the home front in another fashion. I am just wondering if you are aware of instances of that or if that scenario has been put to you before.

Ms Hughes —No, but obviously it is a consequence of changes to the unemployment rates, and the latest forecast today is that that will go up to around 8.5 per cent. You will see people accessing the Centrelink system, of course; they will have to. If people are then looking at their own family circumstances to see whether they are eligible for payments, I think that is just a product of the recession.

Senator FIFIELD —Absolutely. It is just interesting that—

Ms Hughes —We have not had—I have not heard of—individual cases yet. But, as you are aware, we are the national office, and those individual circumstances would come through our state and territory offices, but I will be happy to follow that up as well.

Senator FIFIELD —Thank you.

CHAIR —Thank you, Ms Hughes, as always. If there is anything that you think we need to know that we have not covered, just get in contact with us. We are particularly interested to hear the answer to Senator Fifield’s question about scenarios of which you are aware where there could be people affected by changing between payments.

Ms Hughes —Yes.

CHAIR —Thank you very much.

Ms Hughes —Thank you.

[9.49 am]