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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.

Centrelink and Other Public Service Workers to Take Industrial Action

7 February 2017
ProBono Australia

Staff in the Department of Human Services including Centrelink workers are planning six days of rolling strikes over a stalled enterprise bargaining process and the auto-debt recovery program, according to the Community and Public Sector Union.
The union said Centrelink, Medicare and child support workers would strike and take other forms of industrial action at various times and various locations starting on 13 February.

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

7 February 2017

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.

Centrelink, Medicare warns customers of 'disruptions' as public servants strike

7 February 2017
West Coast Sentinel

Centrelink is warning customers of disruption next week as public servants at the welfare agency prepare for days of strike action over a three-year pay dispute and the controversial "robo-debt" program.
But the department's main workplace union, the CPSU, says public servants trying to resolve disputes caused by Centrelink's controversial "robo-debt" recovery policy will not be walking off the job.

Centrelink staff to strike against ‘ideological attack’ by government

6 February 2017
The New Daily

Centrelink staff will launch two weeks of targeted industrial action over the Turnbull government’s “ideological attack” on the Department of Human Services.
CPSU spokesman Dermot Browne said the government was warned “years ago” by union members that the automated debt system was going to backfire, but pushed ahead anyway.

Centrelink staff to strike over debt scandal, budget cuts and pay

6 February 2017
The Guardian

Union says problems ‘far deeper’ than welfare agency’s controversial automated debt recovery system.
“Our members are doing this because they care about the quality of the services they provide, which is why workers dealing with sensitive clients such as those being dragged through the robo-debt crisis will not be taking industrial action,” [the CPSU rep] said. “These workers are among the lowest paid in the commonwealth public sector and stand to lose the most under the government’s harsh public-sector bargaining policy."

Eric Abetz says Centrelink’s robo-debt system has 'let down' Australians

2 February 2017
The Guardian

The Liberal senator Eric Abetz said Centrelink’s debt recovery system has “let down the Australian people”, while refusing to rule out support for Labor’s proposed Senate inquiry.
Sustained criticism over the system’s tendency to issue bogus debts to vulnerable Australians continues to place pressure on Liberal politicians in Tasmania.