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‘An abject failure’ – we give evidence on Centrelink’s robo-debt scheme to Senate inquiry

11 April 2017
Victoria Legal Aid

In Tuesday’s hearing of the Senate inquiry into Centrelink’s automated data-matching initiative, we called for the flawed scheme to be immediately abandoned.
Our Managing Director Bevan Warner said the scheme is "an abject failure. It is hurting people. It will continue to undermine the integrity of the social welfare system it is meant to be improving. It is arguably unlawful, and even if it is lawful, it shouldn’t be."

Centrelink robo-debt 'abject failure' and arguably unlawful, Victoria Legal Aid says

11 April 2017
Guardian

Scathing assessment comes as system again put under the microscope, this time by external auditors PwC Australia.
Victoria Legal Aid has described Centrelink’s robo-debt system as an “abject failure” which is an arguably unlawful response to the government’s self-inflicted budget problems.

Department of Human Services defends release of personal information of blogger critical of Centrelink

2 March 2017
ABC News

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has defended the release of a welfare recipient's personal and protected information to a journalist, insisting it was proportionate and legal.
The release has been criticised by the Federal Opposition and lawyers who believe it may have a chilling impact on welfare recipients who would otherwise criticise the Government.

Centrelink: Alan Tudge cites legal guidelines department now says are 'not relevant'

1 March 2017
The Guardian

Australia’s human services minister, Alan Tudge, relied on legal guidelines in parliament to justify the release of personal information to the media that his own department now says are irrelevant.
Tudge was criticised in parliament on Tuesday for releasing the personal details of welfare recipient Andie Fox, who was critical of Centrelink’s handling of her debt. Lawyers and welfare groups have already warned that the decision to release Fox’s details was legally debatable.

No answer from Zed - local welfare recipients await action on Robo-Debt Program

31 January 2017
ACT Council of Social Services Inc

The ACT Council of Social Service Inc. (ACTCOSS) again today calls on Senator Zed Seselja to stand up for people in the ACT caught up in the Federal Government’s Centrelink Robo-Debt Recovery Program.
ACTCOSS Director, Susan Helyar, says that the government’s Debt Recovery Program is an unjust prosecution of our communities’ most vulnerable, who need support from local MPs.

Centrelink robo-debt scheme an 'absolute atrocity' but class action not on cards

8 February 2017
SMH

The odds of a joint action against the federal government's Centrelink debt recovery program have narrowed, with lawyers saying it's considered highly unlikely such an action would succeed.
However, Slater and Gordon – and perhaps some of Australia's other leading class action law firms – are investigating Centrelink's handling of the scheme, and have not ruled out challenging the legality of its conduct under Commonwealth laws.

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