The debt was the result of my income (from sporadic casual work) being averaged out over the entire year.
Even after I provided proof of this, I still have the debt and am currently having my Austudy payments garnished for it.
This whole experience has left me extremely stressed.
I am currently considering dropping out of my university course to find a part-time job to pay it off, as my garnished payments are not enough to live on.
To say that I am outraged at the incompetence and apathy I have experienced from Centerlink would be an understatement.
Every time I call them I have to start at square 1, explaining the situation again to a new person, who then most of the time cannot provide me with any help or information.
I have been lied to, told that the debt would be removed, only to see it reappear with no notice months later.
I still have no idea why the evidence I provided (in the form of a scanned copy of my employer's wages book) was not sufficient to prove the debt was erroneous.
We are all guilty until proven innocent in their eyes.
And they're totally unwilling to look at the evidence that proves us innocent.