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Not good enough: Labor slams Centrelink robo-debt changes

16 February 2017
SMH

Labor has dismissed the Coalition's effort to soften its controversial Centrelink "robo-debt" policy, with an opposition frontbencher demanding a government apology for those targeted by the program.
Human Services Minister Alan Tudge announced on Tuesday evening that Centrelink, which has been sending private debt collectors to pursue debts raised under contentious data matching policy, will no longer demand payment for debts that are under review.

Joel Fitzgobbon: Centrelink crisis a hearltess act.

15 February 2017
Hunter Valley News

Centrelink's inability to adequately service its clients has reached crisis point. You can only squeeze so much from the lemon and funding and resourcing cuts should have stopped long ago.
[...]
The situation has been made worse thanks to the Turnbull Government's terrible debt recovery program. It's chewing up so many of Centrelink's limited resources and leaving people sick with worry over letters informing them that they owe large amounts of money.

Centrelink staff will use debt system inquiry to expose dysfunction, says union

8 February 2017
The Guardian

Centrelink staff are planning to use a Senate inquiry into the automated debt recovery system to highlight the level of dysfunction within the Department of Human Services, according to the Community and Public Sector Union.
A motion referring the controversial system to the Senate’s community affairs references committee passed on Wednesday afternoon, as expected, with the support of Labor, the Greens and the crossbench.

Centrelink scandal: Labor and Greens likely to force inquiry into debt recovery system

7 February 2017
The Guardian

Labor and the Greens have proposed a wide-ranging Senate inquiry into the Centrelink debt scandal, which would examine how the system went “so dismally wrong at the expense of struggling Australians”.
The Labor senator Doug Cameron and the Greens senator Rachel Siewert gave notice of their proposed inquiry to the Senate on Tuesday afternoon and it is likely to pass a vote on Wednesday, with One Nation and the Nick Xenophon Team previously expressing support.

Greens and Labor to move for Senate inquiry on Centrelink automated debt systems

7 February 2017
SMH

Labor and the Greens are set to force a Senate inquiry into Centrelink's controversial automated debt recovery system, an issue that had dogged the federal government for more than two months.
The Senate will vote on a motion to establish a wide-ranging probe on Wednesday as the government continues to defend data-matching of records held by government agencies to recover millions in overpayments to welfare recipients.

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