Let's face it: dealing with CentreLink, the Tax Office and Medicare is never going to be pleasant. But a lot can be done to improve the experience through simpler, more convenient and better co-ordinated services. The Government's smartcard proposal could go along way to reduce the endless form-filling and paper-shuffling while ensuring everyone gets their entitled benefits.
It is disappointing then that Liberty Victoria's president Brian Walters has attempted to pour cold water on the whole idea because "there is potential for Government authorities to misuse cross-referenced data" (The Age, 21/4).
How can Government authorities misuse information they've lawfully collected (without breaking pre-existing laws)? Why should people be able to tell one thing to CentreLink and another to the Child Support Agency?
I hope this is just rabid, knee-jerk techno-fear and not a smokescreen to protect tax avoiders, welfare cheats and "dead-beat dads". Liberty does not entail the right to lie.