Centrelink debt recovery process in the spotlight

People affected by the controversial Centrelink debt recovery collection will have a chance to share their experiences about the process.

The Senate Community Affairs committee inquiry into the Centrelink debt recovery process is underway and hearings will be held in Launceston and Hobart within the fortnight. 

The inquiry comes after a damning assessment of the recovery by the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

The ombudsman made eight recommendations to the federal government.

One of the recommendations was the government cease the rollout until the process is examined.

TasCOSS chief executive Kym Goodes has been an outspoken advocate against the process.

Earlier this year she said people were receiving notices of debt worth thousands of dollars.

Ms Goodes said TasCOSS was now referring people who received a notice and needed help to the Community Legal Centres.

“They’re still seeing an increased number of people coming through their doors,” she said. 

Ms Goodes also called on the federal government to listen to the ombudsman.

“We're hoping the Turnbull Government responds to the ombudsman’s recommendation of ceasing any further rollout straight away,” she said. 

She hoped the Senate inquiry could be "used by Centrelink or the Department of Human Services to reassess how they work with members of the community who have had an overpayment".

Liberal Senator for Tasmania Jonathon Duniam said the hearings would give Tasmanians the opportunity to share their experiences.

The committee inquiry will visit Hobart on April 26 and Launceston on April 27.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop