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Robo debt: Centrelink staff write protest material in response to debt recovery program

25 January 2017
Noel Towell
Canberra Times

Centrelink public servants have stepped up their internal resistance to the welfare agency's controversial "robo-debt" program, with union officials handing out protest material to clients at offices around Australia on Wednesday.

The move came as the welfare agency lashed out, again, at "unsubstantiated claims from anonymous staff" about the debt recovery program.

Centrelink offices in all states and territories were being targeted by the staff-written pamphlets, which are being handed out by members of the Community and Public Sector Union, on Wednesday. Visitors were told Australia's welfare agency is in crisis and that it is getting worse.


Centrelink spokesman Hank Jongen alleged on Wednesday that media reports were "misrepresenting' how the system worked, including the often-cited 20 per cent error rate on the letters generated by the "data matching" program."The Australian community keeps hearing that 20 per cent of these review letters are sent out in error," Mr Jongen said.