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Tasmanian pensioners fear they’ll fall victim to Centrelink mistakes

18 March 2017
David Beniuk
Courier Mail

Tasmanian pension recipients fear they will be caught up in Centrelink’s controversial debt recovery process.

More than 58 per cent of respondents to the Sunday Tasmanian’s survey of pensioners say they hold concerns about the automated system, which has been criticised for targeting individuals inaccurately.

Only 15 per cent said they had no concerns, while 36 per cent described themselves as very concerned.


The Australian Council of Social Service says more than 200,000 people have been affected by the so-called robo-debt program, with up to 20 per cent of notices incorrect.

TasCOSS CEO Kym Goodes said the survey results indicated lower-income Tasmanians were living in fear.

“There is real fear in the community that this cruel debt recovery will not end and it is causing severe mental and physical stress throughout the community,” Ms Goodes said.

“Many individuals who are not yet impacted are living in fear of what is to come.”

Ms Goodes said flaws in the system were only part of the problem.



Ms Goodes, with her ACOSS colleagues, has called for an immediate halt to the use of the system.

Federal Human Services Minister Alan Tudge has said people receiving notices are given several opportunities to explain or appeal a discrepancy between Centrelink and Australian Taxation Office data.