CHOICE membership

MyGov / Centrelink


I volunteer at a Community Legal Centre, called the Welfare Rights Centre, which was set up in the 1970s to help people having difficulties with Centrelink (it was called something else then) Amazingly, despite successive governments slashing their funding, they still operate with a small (and always getting smaller) legal team who are dedicated to helping clients through the Centrelink maze. (Assisted by a team of volunteers who are equally committed to the work) Most of the work is done by phone, so it is a NSW wide service, with equivalent centres in other states. Check out their


You need to personally attend a MyGov or Centrelink office with your 100 points of identity to obtain a CRN. They don’t give them out on the internet


Oh come on, being “tech savvy” isn’t what you need !! :slight_smile: you need to be “muppet savvy” or something similar. They do build these sites with the best of intentions I’m sure, it just isn’t clear what they are intent on. One solution to rule them all?

I work in the industry as well, for longer than I care to say - people sometimes ask if I trust computers, to which I answer yes of course - but never when they switched on and running human written code … the stories I could tell, and I know I’m not alone (probably don’t even have close to the best stories either) !!

My experience with MyGov has been ok when it is working. When things go wrong and you need support? forget it …


thanks a lot for the information and for the links. i am definitely going to take a look at them a bit later as i currently need to search for because of my health issues. because of them i sit home doing nothing but in the meantime i wanted to learn and that’s why again: thanks for the info and links! if there’s anything that you can update with then please do. i see 22 days have passed since you wrote it.


Seems the phone is the way they regulate traffic …

CSA for example have just removed the secure message service from their online portal. You have until 6 November to download all your messages before they all disappear from the online version. Of course from that point they will still appear on your file, but you can’t see them.

Neither can you ‘reply’ to MyGov messages - another one way street … and try sending email to the ATO? forget it.

Your options are simple - either use the extremely constrained online forms that are sometimes offered to provide information relevant to your case/claim/return/etc, or call them and wait two hours for the right person (if you are lucky), or send them paper mail via Australia Post.

Edit: ‘customers’ now have until 26 November to cut and paste all their messages to a word document … apparently thats the best solution CSA could come up with …


In other news … AI will apparently be ‘the answer’ …


Heh Is that Alien Intelligence :grin: I don’t think the AI area has enough development to carry out this vital work with enough certainty of the needed quality of results, nor am I dismissing the obvious current human error failings in their system.


Perhaps in the long run this will be cheaper than having warmware providing service or trying to. As it is the staff are turned into robots who perforce erect a solid shield against any human feeling unless they have resigned beforehand due to the impossible stress. Turnover in the junior ranks who must face the public is ferocious. Daily they have to watch as genuine people implode because the system cannot help them and deceivers take what they are not entitled to because the system cannot stop them.


One of my US financial institutions has an AI front end. Although I struggle with my ‘classic Eltham’ accent on many days, and virtually nothing set to Australian English can understand me, the US system gets about 80% of everything, and it usually knows when it has reached its bounds and passes me off to a human.

With the poor experiences from other US and Australian implementations I was gobsmacked how good this one is. Unfortunately our over employed executives and pollies are willingly over sold a ‘bill of goods’ they enthusiastically buy, resulting in an upcoming radio show called ‘the daily fiasco’.


And again I say the obvious …and by their measure underpaid…:laughing:


When I was sick I would sit on the ground in the queue at CentreLink (as I was too ill to stand) and my brain fog told me that it didn’t matter.
How do people cope with the go to the machine to get a number system these days?


So, would it be too much to ask for the site to tell you that?


Amazing! We had an identical experience, including the problem with one of us being born in the UK and the later loss of documentation. Be warned, they have more fun in store for you - last January our part-pensions were cut off because we had ‘failed to provide updated details of our income stream by 31 December’. We had, and I even knew the exact date we’d done it online in November! When I called the Older Australians help line, the operator knew before I finished my first sentence what I was calling about. Seems there had been a glitch in one part of the system ‘talking’ to another part of the system, and thousands of innocent people had received the same treatment. He told me he could see on his screen that we’d met the deadline and should never have been sent the letter or lost our pension! It would help if the left-hand computer and the right-hand computer knew what one another were doing!


It is actually on the calibre of managers or ICT people or having to work in unrealistic budgets or via pie in the sky systems software a salesman sold a pollie or someone at SESx level… The latter are hired to arm wave and be visionaries rather than on their ability to execute. Once hired some can execute but unlike the APS ranks to EL2 that is usually not a significant part of the selection process.


Agreed. In addition, as a consultant (not in IT) who’s worked in both Federal and State Government departments I’ve watched dozens of instances of the installation of ‘off-the-shelf’ software solutions that proved to be anything but! They’ve come with the promise (usually made by someone who has little real understanding of the department’s complex needs and functions) that they only need a few minor ‘adjustments’ to make them fit-for-purpose. It can take years of continuing IT disasters and further ‘adjustments’ before someone finally admits that a tailor-made product developed with the input of extensive in-house experience would have been so much better and, ultimately, cheaper.


If possible, I suggest going to your “friendly local” c’link office, and preferrably before noon. Afternoon wait times can be almost as long as a phone call, which can take literally forever because they shut down before you get anywhere.


Government responds. They will Make Australia Great Again by adding outsourced Centrelink phone staff, employed by Private Enterprise. We can be assured these staff will be well trained, tenured so as to have advantage of their acquired expertise, paid at least award rates(!), and empowered to solve problems. Right.


It has only taken them 7 months to send me my new health care card from when I returned the required renewal application.
Hope they address more than the phone support service before this one expires in 5 months time.

P.s. if it’s ok to outsource Centrelink and give private contractors access to our records, is the current debate about privacy for My Health no longer necessary?


From the lined article:

Future platform will be designed around ‘life events’.
The federal government’s myGov platform is set to undergo one of the most comprehensive rethinks since its inception in a bid to offer users better and more proactive online services.

I like how the term ‘rethink’ implies that thinking was done previously … nice try … :wink:


Your joking . I’ve just started feeling comfortable finding my way around the current MyGov . " Rethink " That seems to me to imply that no thinking took place when they planned the current site . We need another leadership spill to rectify this . Julie Bishop just might …