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Interim report rejects Government’s claim of Public Interest Immunity in regards to robodebt legal advice 

The Community Affairs References Committee has tabled an interim report rejecting the Minister’s claim of Public Interest Immunity in regards to their failure to provide their legal advice and other information relating to robodebt to the committee.
 
Senator Rachel Siewert who tabled the report said that the Minister’s claim of Public Interest Immunity does not sufficiently justify that the provision of this information to the committee would cause harm to the public interest.
 
“The Committee recommended that the legal advice and other information pertaining to the program be provided by 24 February 2020 and the Senate supported this.
 
“The requested information is vital evidence for the inquiry into the Centrelink compliance program as it goes to the legal foundation of the program and how it has operated.
 
“This is clearly a matter of public interest because it is becoming more and more clear that there are serious questions regarding the legality of robodebt.
 
“The public have a right to know what has happened with this scheme.
 
“Evidence in regards to the Government’s knowledge of the illegality of the robodebt scheme was released by the Community Affairs References committee last Thursday and it raises serious questions regarding how long the Department and Senior Ministers knew that elements of this program were illegal.”
 
The interim report can be found here.
 
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Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180
 

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