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Robo-debt: Public servants being 'bullied' into silence: Andrew Wilkie

23 January 2017
Noel Towell
Canberra Times

The Commonwealth public service is trying to "bully" Centrelink workers into staying silent on the government's "robo-debt" debacle, according to an independent federal MP.

Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie says the "data-matching" debt recovery effort had reached the point of "high farce" and that Centrelink workers were following their consciences and speaking out about the internal workings of the system.

Mr Wilkie's comments came as another key independent politician, South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon, pledged to attempt to decriminalise whistleblowing in the public service.

Public servants at Centrelink have been threatened with disciplinary action or even criminal prosecution as their bosses at the welfare agency try to stem the flow of internal leaks about the agency's robo-debt campaign.