That also seems to be my experience, but happily all 7 of my international award tickets, which I cancelled over the past 2 months, have now been fully refunded, both cash and points.My punt is that it's a moving feast at Qanta$.
It was a bit of a roller coaster ride. A couple of the tickets were refunded automatically within a few days. I discovered (by trial and error) that an effective strategy with the others (after waiting a few weeks) was to speak to the frequent flyer call centre in the Philippines and request them to refund my points in advance of the cash refund, so I could use them for new bookings early next year.
I was impressed with the courtesy and helpfulness of the agents in the Philippines, who happily refunded the points straight away, and liaised with their colleagues in Australia to arrange a refund of the taxes, etc, within a few days.
So, overall, I an fairly happy with my experience in getting refunds from Qantas, wich is in stark contrast to some of the other airlines I am currently dealing with.