Senate debates

Tuesday, 1 December 2020


Pensions and Benefits

4:20 pm

Photo of Anne UrquhartAnne Urquhart (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

I, and also on behalf of Senators Bilyk, McCarthy and O'Neill, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the Prime Minister, Mr Morrison, was:

(A) Social Services Minister when robodebt was first initiated in the 2015-16 Budget, and

(B) Treasurer, and Mr Robert was Human Services Minister, when robodebt was expanded in the December 2015-16 Mid-Year Economic Fiscal Outlook,

(ii) Mr Porter was Social Services Minister when the first iteration of robodebt, the Online Compliance Initiative (OCI), was piloted in 2016,

(iii) Mr Tudge was Human Services Minister when the second iteration of robodebt, Employment Income Confirmation, replaced OCI in February 2017, and

(iv) Mr Robert has refused to admit robodebt was unlawful and refused to apologise to the mothers of people who had taken their own lives after receiving a letter of demand;

(b) recognises:

(i) the Government failed to address the fundamental flaws of robodebt and continued to fight robodebt matters despite acknowledging it was unlawful,

(ii) robodebt was designed to capture $4.7 billion in budget savings, but has cost $1.2 billion in the class action settlement, and

(iii) it is in the public interest to reveal why the Government unlawfully took money from Australians; and

(c) calls on the Government to listen to the many victims and outraged Australians and establish a Royal Commission into its flawed and unlawful robodebt scheme.

Question agreed to.


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