Robodebt Royal Commission must be forward-looking to ensure cruel scheme never happens again


The Greens are calling for a forward-looking Robodebt Royal Commission, and for the Labor Government to address structural factors in our country’s social security system to ensure a callous debt-collection scheme like Robodebt never happens again. 

Greens social services spokesperson, Senator Janet Rice, said:

“The Greens have been fighting against Robodebt since it started, and Greens Senators chaired the Senate inquiry that highlighted how far this injustice went. We are pleased the Labor government is acting on this promise for a Royal Commission. I look forward to working constructively with Ministers Shorten and Rishworth to uncover the truth about how this scheme came to be, and hold those responsible to account. 

“It’s important, however, that the Royal Commission also examine the structural factors that continue to exist in our broken social security system. We need the royal commission to inform how we fix the system, rather than it simply be an opportunity for the Labor Government to attack the former government. 

“The Royal Commission must provide support for community members and those affected by Robodebt to fully participate to make sure that people on income support are never targeted in this way again. 

“The Greens want to see the Royal Commission examine protections for whistleblowers in the public service, broader debt-collection issues beyond a retrospective look at Robodebt, including third-party debt-collection, and the role of automation in our social security system. 

“It’s also worth noting that the new Labor government has questions to answer on its own current algorithm mess - Workforce Australia - and the problems and stress this automation is causing to thousands of people on income support.”