Luckily i had stable work and accommodation for most of the process but it has definitely cost me too many hours of my life and a few hairs on my scalp.
The governments initial claim was $6800, they then reassessed the debt to be $3600. During this time i had honest and helpful assistance from some centrelink employees but not from others, the system itself dumbfounds me (why cant they provide jobs & growth by opening call centres later than 5pm). I had several frutrating moments including when my tax return was seized to pay off my debt after being assured it wouldn't happen. For me to prove that and be refunded the money they requested i pay for transcripts of previous recorded conversations through a FOI, i didnt bother.
Additionally, they doubled my assessable income over a 6 month period by having two employers listed with the same income & same time spent in employment only under slightly different names, despite their being no evidence of there ever being a second employer or additional income.
I am unsure whether to keep fighting my debt or start paying the reduced amount off, i have no idea how they reached their initial assessment.