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Centrelink debt recovery shambles a potential disaster for students

6 January 2017
Newcastle University Students’ Association

The automated Centrelink Debt Recovery system has left thousands of Australian welfare recipients in crisis after a large number of inaccurate debt demands were distributed. A significant number of these vulnerable, low- income Australians that have been targeted are students.

The continuous failure of Centrelink and the Federal Government to remedy these issues has caused a lot of undue pressure and stress, leading to a significant mental health crisis. In some cases, people have been driven to suicidal ideation. Centrelink’s reaction to suicidal complaints through their Twitter account is inadequate and offensive.

It is the view of the Newcastle University Students’ Association that Centrelink and the Australian Government must immediately halt the further issue of debt recovery demands under the current automatic system and re-evaluate those that have already been issued.

Without immediate action, the lives of many students and many in the broader community, will be severely impacted.