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Senate supports robodebt committee recommendations for Government to explain claims of public interest immunity

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 3 Sep 2020

The Community Affairs References Committee has tabled its third interim report into Centrelink's Income Compliance Program commonly known as robodebt.

The Senate voted to support the committee recommendations to require the Minister representing the Minister for Government Services to provide an explanation of claims of public interest immunity to the upper house. 

The recommendations also require production of documents that the committee has requested.

Committee Chair Senator Rachel Siewert who tabled the report said that the Minister’s claims of public interest immunity in regards to the Centrelink Income Compliance Program legal advice and an Executive Minute are not accepted by the committee.
The public have a right to know what has happened with this program and the Government needs to stop hiding behind claims of public interest immunity.
Getting to the bottom of what happened with robodebt is clearly in the public interest. 
The committee has outlined in detail in their report their expectations of the Minister in responding to the committee and the committee maintains that it is ultimately in the public interest for the Commonwealth Government to be transparent about the legal advice it received in relation to the Income Compliance Program. 
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.

The full report can be found here

Media Contact:
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie; 0418 401 180

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