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Press releases

Coalition exposes own hypocrisy in claim to public interest leak

1 March 2017
Pirate Party Australia

In an epic violation of trust, Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge has intentionally given out a Centrelink client’s personal information to Fairfax media, as a part of a political campaign to discredit and silence Australians speaking out against the nightmare of Centrelink’s debt recovery program. The article, published by Fairfax media, contained personal information that was used to “correct the record”, but only serves to highlight the abuse of power within Federal Government departments who would rather be seen to silence criticism than fix the issue at hand.

Correcting misleading story about department’s debt recovery process

24 February 2017
Australian Government Department of Human Services Media Hub

Yesterday evening, news.com.au once more ran a misleading story about the department’s debt recovery processes, attempting to again wrongly link it to the online compliance system. Had the department been afforded an opportunity to investigate the cases featured in the story prior to publishing, we would have quickly corrected this erroneous assumption.

Response to claims about the department’s use of external collection agents

22 February 2017
Australian Government Department of Human Services Media Hub

Claims made recently about the Department of Human Services’ use of external collection agents are inaccurate and require clarification.
Agencies who have been engaged by the department to recover debt from people will always ensure their operators clearly identify themselves as calling ‘on behalf of’ the department.

‘Improvements’ for debt recovery system just fiddling around the edges: Greens

15 February 2017
Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia

The Government’s announcement of ‘improvements’ to the debt recovery system are fiddling around the edges and do not address the fundamental issues of the Centrelink automated debt recovery system, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

Have your say: Senate Inquiry into Centrelink automated debt recovery

14 February 2017
ACT Council of Social Services Inc

The Federal Parliament has established a Senate Inquiry into the Centrelink automated debt recovery program (widely known as 'robo debt').
Your personal information does not have to be made public; you can choose to suppress your personal information, or make your submission confidential.
Submissions to the Inquiry are due Wednesday 22 March 2017.

Greens work with Labor to refer for senate inquiry the Centrelink automated debt recovery system

7 February 2017
Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia

The Greens have worked with Labor to lodge a notice of motion for a senate inquiry into the Government’s failing Centrelink automated debt recovery system that has been rolled out since last year. The Senate will vote on the motion tomorrow.

Centrelink's Debt Debacle

7 February 2017
Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia

Rachel has called on the government to end Centrelink's flawed debt recovery processes after a series of errors have led to thousands of incorrect debt notices being send to some of the most vulnerable members of my community.
VIDEO

Andrew Wilkie speaks on Centrelink debt debacle

7 February 2017
Andrew Wilkie MP, Independent Member for Denison

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, moved a motion in the House of Representatives shortly after midday today calling on the Minister for Human Services to acknowledge that the Centrelink debt recovery program has been a disaster and must be shut down immediately.
Mr Wilkie was responding to overwhelming community concern over the financial and emotional hardship the scheme has caused with about 4,000 incorrect debt notices being issued each week.
A copy of the motion follows in full.

No answer from Zed - local welfare recipients await action on Robo-Debt Program

31 January 2017
ACT Council of Social Services Inc

The ACT Council of Social Service Inc. (ACTCOSS) again today calls on Senator Zed Seselja to stand up for people in the ACT caught up in the Federal Government’s Centrelink Robo-Debt Recovery Program.
ACTCOSS Director, Susan Helyar, says that the government’s Debt Recovery Program is an unjust prosecution of our communities’ most vulnerable, who need support from local MPs.

“False Centrelink debt demands are criminal”

29 January 2017
The Anti-Poverty Network SA, Women in Poverty

The Anti-Poverty Network (APN-SA), in conjunction with Women in Poverty (WIP), is holding a protest rally on Tuesday 31st January 2017 to demand the Turnbull government suspend the “Robo-Debt” Centrelink system that is issuing hundreds of thousands of debt notices, many of which have been proven false, to current and previous welfare recipients.

Let's talk about facts

25 January 2017
Australian Government Department of Human Services Media Hub

Public discussion continues to present false accounts of the Department of Humans Services’ online compliance review system.
The department has already rejected unsubstantiated claims from anonymous staff in statements last week, including refuting allegations about the treatment of exempt income. All assessments appropriately consider assessable and non-assessable income.

Nice try Hank, but DHS staff not to blame

24 January 2017
Community & Public Sector Union

Last week DHS spokesperson, Hank Jongen sought to blame staff for the community’s widespread resistance to and frustration with the online compliance system. This is massive spin, even for Hank. The irony here being that if frontline staff had had input into the design of the troubled online compliance system it wouldn’t be generating erroneous debts.

Response to further claims about online compliance activity

19 January 2017
Australian Government Department of Human Services Media Hub

Claims made today about the Department of Human Services’ online compliance activity do not accurately represent how the system works.
General Manager Hank Jongen said the system was designed to identify differences between Australian Taxation Office and Centrelink payment records, and was performing the task as intended.
[...]
“We will continue to work with staff to explain how the system operates and the role they play.”

Whistleblower: Turnbull Government Defrauding Everyday People

19 January 2017
GetUp!

A brave whistleblower is risking their job to expose the shocking inside truth behind the Turnbull Government's bullying debt-threat debacle.
The whistleblower has revealed the flaws in the Turnbull Government's broken data-matching computer that create tens of thousands of false debt threats -- and confirmed that these flaws aren't a mistake, they're the way the system was designed to work.

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