Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Minister Vanstone and Michael Raper Launch New Social Security Handbook

Joint Media Release with:

  • Michael Raper, President - Australian Council of Social Security

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Sen Amanda Vanstone will today find common ground with ACOSS President Michael Raper when she launches “The Independent Social Security Handbook” in Sydney. The book has been edited over the last eight months by Michael Raper in his capacity as, Director of the Welfare Rights Centre in Sydney.

Minister Vanstone said:”When it comes to helping with a whole range of problems, this Handbook has become a must for community workers who deal with day-to-day Social Security issues.

“While the Government and the community sector won’t always agree on every policy and program, we do have the same goal, that is, to ensure that Australians in need receive their entitlements and are protected by our Social Security system.”

Michael Raper said: “Life is tough for many people who are reliant on Social Security payments. It can also be very complicated when you have to deal with a system that provides highly targeted, means tested, specific benefits and family allowances to more than six million Australians every week.”

“This new book is an essential guide to our Social Security system that makes it easier for low income and disadvantaged people and community welfare agencies throughout Australian to access the benefits and services the Government provides.”

“As an indication of just how complex our Social Security system is, even this simplified guide is still over 700 pages long!”

“I welcome the Minister’s recent announcement of a Rules Simplification Taskforce and her commitment to further disentangling and streamlining the rules and procedures that form such a large part of the Centrelink experience for so many Australian citizens.”

“I also welcome the Minister’s support for the role of independent advocates such as the Welfare Rights Centre to represent and assist vulnerable people in their dealings with Centrelink.”

Launch of Handbook: 11am Friday 6 April 2001 Australia Council Bldg, 372 Elizabeth St Surry Hills, NSW