The Perth branch of the Australian Unemployed Workers Union (AUWU) launched the “Dump your demerit points” campaign on July 20 at the Perth Trades Hall.
Australian Unemployed Workers Union
“We call on the federal government to scrap the [NewStart Allowance] ‘demerit points plan’ and stop demonising the unemployed,” NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon told a public forum at UnionsNSW on July 4.
The forum was hosted by the national and Western Sydney branches of the Australian Unemployed Workers Union (AUWU). The AUWU is conducting a nationwide campaign, called “Dump Your Demerit Points”, to educate members on how to fight back against this punitive system.
Calling for an end to the demonisation of jobseekers, the Australian Unemployed Workers Union (AUWU) held a rally on September 8 outside Channel Seven's Sunrise studio in Martin Place. They opposed the vilification of Australia's economically disadvantaged in Sunrise programs such as "Australia's worst dole bludging areas named and shamed", in which commentators called for punitive welfare penalties.
The Fair Go For Pensioners coalition organised a rally on May 24 in response to the federal budget’s significant new restrictions for those on Centrelink payments, including older Australians.
Their main concerns are with the change to the pensioner assets test, attacks on Medicare, the threat to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, and a reduction on the right to overseas travel. The rally also addressed issues faced by the unemployed on Newstart, those on disability support and single parents.
About 200 people rallied in Melbourne on January 31 against the Turnbull Government's new practice of sending computer-generated debt notices to people who have received or are receiving Centrelink payments.
Up to 90% of these debt notices are false. Many people have received debt notices demanding they repay thousands of dollars that they dispute owing. Centrelink staff have been instructed not to fix any obvious errors unless the person complains.