Volunteering Australia have provided a response to the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Payment Integrity) Bill 2017. 

Volunteering Australia’s submission focuses on Schedule 1 and 2 of the Bill, which seek to enhance the residency criteria for the Age Pension and Disability Support Pension (DSP), and stop the payment of the pension supplement after six weeks overseas.

The Government stated that by strengthening the requirements for eligibility, it will ensure that people have established "a significant connection with Australia during their working life or are self-sufficient for a reasonable period of time before qualifying for the Age Pension or Disability Support Pension".[1]

Volunteering Australia is opposed to these punitive proposals. Our response stresses the social, cultural and economic value, and contributions of volunteering to Australian society, and that volunteering can also help establish a "significant connection with Australia".[2]

[1] Explanatory memorandum.

[2] Explanatory memorandum.