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Press releases

Have your say: Senate Inquiry into Centrelink automated debt recovery

14 February 2017
ACT Council of Social Services Inc

The Federal Parliament has established a Senate Inquiry into the Centrelink automated debt recovery program (widely known as 'robo debt').
Your personal information does not have to be made public; you can choose to suppress your personal information, or make your submission confidential.
Submissions to the Inquiry are due Wednesday 22 March 2017.

RoboDebt must go: Community sector calls for end of Centrelink’s auto debt recovery program and the bullying of victims

8 February 2017
Australian Council of Social Service

A consortium of leading organisations from Australia’s community sector is calling on the government to immediately pull the plug on Centrelink’s RoboDebt, cease the intimidation and bullying of Centrelink clients and their families caught up in the automated debt recovery debacle, and provide a commitment that people’s protected information will not be publicly released.

Greens work with Labor to refer for senate inquiry the Centrelink automated debt recovery system

7 February 2017
Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia

The Greens have worked with Labor to lodge a notice of motion for a senate inquiry into the Government’s failing Centrelink automated debt recovery system that has been rolled out since last year. The Senate will vote on the motion tomorrow.

Centrelink's Debt Debacle

7 February 2017
Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia

Rachel has called on the government to end Centrelink's flawed debt recovery processes after a series of errors have led to thousands of incorrect debt notices being send to some of the most vulnerable members of my community.

Andrew Wilkie speaks on Centrelink debt debacle

7 February 2017
Andrew Wilkie MP, Independent Member for Denison

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, moved a motion in the House of Representatives shortly after midday today calling on the Minister for Human Services to acknowledge that the Centrelink debt recovery program has been a disaster and must be shut down immediately.
Mr Wilkie was responding to overwhelming community concern over the financial and emotional hardship the scheme has caused with about 4,000 incorrect debt notices being issued each week.
A copy of the motion follows in full.

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.

“False Centrelink debt demands are criminal”

29 January 2017
The Anti-Poverty Network SA, Women in Poverty

The Anti-Poverty Network (APN-SA), in conjunction with Women in Poverty (WIP), is holding a protest rally on Tuesday 31st January 2017 to demand the Turnbull government suspend the “Robo-Debt” Centrelink system that is issuing hundreds of thousands of debt notices, many of which have been proven false, to current and previous welfare recipients.

Let's talk about facts

25 January 2017
Australian Government Department of Human Services Media Hub

Public discussion continues to present false accounts of the Department of Humans Services’ online compliance review system.
The department has already rejected unsubstantiated claims from anonymous staff in statements last week, including refuting allegations about the treatment of exempt income. All assessments appropriately consider assessable and non-assessable income.

Australians disapprove of Tudge's Centrelink robo-debt mess

24 January 2017
The Hon Linda Burney MP, Shadow Minister for Human Services, ALP Member for Barton

Malcolm Turnbull must show some leadership and suspend his Government’s robo-debt mess with nearly half of all Australians disapproving of the scandal-plagued system.
Incompetent Human Services Minister Alan Tudge believes that those falsely accused of owing debt should have to hand over the money until they prove their own innocence but he reckons that Liberal MPs caught rorting the system should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Nice try Hank, but DHS staff not to blame

24 January 2017
Community & Public Sector Union

Last week DHS spokesperson, Hank Jongen sought to blame staff for the community’s widespread resistance to and frustration with the online compliance system. This is massive spin, even for Hank. The irony here being that if frontline staff had had input into the design of the troubled online compliance system it wouldn’t be generating erroneous debts.

Centrelink staff ordered to ignore errors in automated debt notices

20 January 2017
The Hon Linda Burney MP, Shadow Minister for Human Services, ALP Member for Barton

The Turnbull Government must immediately suspend the Centrelink robo-debt debacle following more disturbing claims from a Centrelink whistleblower.
According to reports Centrelink assessors are being directed to ignore obvious errors in the calculation of debt, unless customers directly object.

Response to further claims about online compliance activity

19 January 2017
Australian Government Department of Human Services Media Hub

Claims made today about the Department of Human Services’ online compliance activity do not accurately represent how the system works.
General Manager Hank Jongen said the system was designed to identify differences between Australian Taxation Office and Centrelink payment records, and was performing the task as intended.
“We will continue to work with staff to explain how the system operates and the role they play.”

Whistleblower: Turnbull Government Defrauding Everyday People

19 January 2017

A brave whistleblower is risking their job to expose the shocking inside truth behind the Turnbull Government's bullying debt-threat debacle.
The whistleblower has revealed the flaws in the Turnbull Government's broken data-matching computer that create tens of thousands of false debt threats -- and confirmed that these flaws aren't a mistake, they're the way the system was designed to work.