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Centrelink rorts crackdown could hit regional people hard, Bendigo MP says

30 December 2016
Adam Holmes
Bendigo Advertiser

from the article:

Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters believes Centrelink’s new automated debt recovery system could unfairly target people in regional areas due to poorer communication services.

It has raised $300 million in overpayments for the government following 169,000 reviews.
But Ms Chesters said it was a flawed system that failed to take into account a number of factors for those living in regional areas.
“Over the Christmas period I was contacted by several people who had their payments suspended. For most of them it appeared to be no fault of their own,” she said. “Quite often people do not know they have to attend an appointment because appointment letters have not arrived before the scheduled appointment or a text message telling them to attend an appointment, they attend only to be told no appointment exists. Days later their payments are suspended for a ‘failure to attend’.
It's unfair to suspended a payment if you don't know you have to attend an appointment.”