The Centrelink debt recovery system is hurting people across the country. People who have done nothing wrong. People who can ill afford to be hit up with debt notices, let alone for debts they don't even owe. The COSS network around Australia is calling for an immediate stop to this debt recovery program.
A damning report has now been released by the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The Report calls for a halt to further expansion of the Centrelink robodebt rollout and makes seven additional recommendations aimed at rectifying and preventing a repeat of this devastating program. Read the full report.
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A Sentate inquiry is now underway to examine the design, scope, cost-benefit analysis, contracts and implementation processes associated with the system and more than 100 people have made submissions already.
If you have been affected by Centrelink’s automated debt recovery program, or know someone who has, your story can make a difference
Public hearings for the Senate inquiry are underway and a hearing will be held in Sydney on April 19.
ACOSS has created a stand-alone web page to answer all questions for prospective organisations and individuals who want to present at the Inquiry, and/or people writing a submission to meet the extended deadline.
If you, or someone you work with needs assistance with Centrelink debt collection there are a number of places to seek support.
The National Social Security Rights Network has published a factsheet for people who have received a debt collection letter from Centrelink to help better understand what to do. It can be accessed on their website.
You can also seek assistance through the following channels:
- National Social Security Rights Network
- Your local Community Legal Centre
- Legal Aid NSW
- Fraudstop by GetUp!