The Greens welcome the Federal Court judgement on the robodebt class action that found the Commonwealth "unlawfully" raised $1.7 billion in debts against 443,000 people, but say that the Government has still fundamentally failed to be accountable for the illegal robodebt program.
"Citizens shouldn’t have to fight tooth and nail for justice and take their own Government to court to get any measure of accountability", Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.
As Justice Murphy said, this is a shameful chapter.
Many, including the Greens consider that this chapter is still open because the Government continues to obfuscate and deny the harm their program caused.
Robodebt cost lives, it has ruined many many more and has been the cause of immeasurable pain and anguish.
We still don't know what the Government knew and when and they are still desperate to cover it up.
The Government thinks they can get away with only refunding victims served notices after 2015.
They have clearly demonstrated they are not willing to hand over the legal advice they have relating to robodebt and have hidden behind ‘public interest immunity claims’.
I can see no other way forward than through a Royal Commission ensuring a full, independent review of this program and a forensic audit of this mess.
A Royal Commission is the only way to get to the bottom of how this happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180