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#notmydebt

How to fight a Centrelink robo-debt in 10 (not so easy) steps

27 January 2017
Green Left Weekly

I became aware that Centrelink were trying to pin a cooked-up “robo-debt” of $5558 on me through a text message from the aptly named Probe group debt collection agency.
There resources about how to dispute a Centrelink debt letter, including GetUp! which has a page that sends a bunch of letters to key places in one go.
But given the large and growing number affected by this $4.5 billion heist, I thought I would share my experience of disputing the debt in 10 not exactly easy steps.

Whistleblower or misguided luddite? Centrelink rejects serious allegations

19 January 2017
The Mandarin

Centrelink says concerns reportedly emanating from some of its staff — via their union and a left-leaning activist group — are the result of misunderstanding the complexity of the welfare system and personal disagreements with policy and technological change.
In response to the most serious allegations since the “#notmydebt” campaign began to push back against the agency’s letters asking people to clarify differences between information about past welfare payments and tax data, spokesperson Hank Jongen implies that some employees either don’t understand or don’t agree with how the system works.

Former Official Says Govt Would Have Known Centrelink Shitstorm Was Coming

4 January 2017
pedestrian TV

As the Centrelink kerfuffle continues, criticism from the Opposition mounts and the Government continues to maintain that the system is functioning as expected, a former high-ranking department official has told The Guardian that management would have known the risks before they rolled out the automated debt recovery system.

Losing oxygen to leakers and the media, Centrelink’s comms fall back to ‘the facts’

25 January 2017
The Mandarin

The Department of Human Services has rejected speculation that Centrelink’s automated systems generate incorrect assessments of past income and welfare entitlements in 90% of cases, as further serious claims emerge from the agency’s staff.
The new statement is naively headlined “Let’s talk about facts” — ignoring the important context that it’s hard for anyone to know what to believe out of the mix of anonymous claims from staff, the union’s ongoing campaign regarding working conditions and staffing levels at DHS, the online #notmydebt campaign, flat-out denials and semantic arguments from the department, and of course opinions in the media.

The Centrelink robo-debt debacle has only just begun

23 January 2017
Independent Australia

Knowing that the Turnbull Government isn't finished with its five-seven year WPIT plan should send a shiver down our spines.
[...]
In the 2015-16 budget, the Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation (WPIT) program was announced as the replacement for [the Income Security Integrated System (ISIS), set up in 1983 to oversee welfare payment deliveries, customer service, support and compliance activities for Centrelink]. The 2015-16 budget measure worth $60.5m is part of a $1.5 billion, seven-year program. The program was described by the Government as one of the world’s largest social welfare ICT transformations.

A Group Of Disgruntled Centrelink Clients Serve Alan Tudge's Office With A Fake Debt Notice

18 January 2017
Huffington Post

A handful of protesters have parked themselves in front of Liberal MP Alan Tudge's office, protesting the Centrelink #notmydebt saga with an abundance of chants and issuing his office with a "debt notice" of $300 million.
The group played mock Centrelink hold music, and chanted "Hey Tudge, we won't budge" before being moved on by police at 2:35pm.

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