JUST SAY SORRY, PAY THE VICTIMS, & REDIRECT CENTRELINK STAFF TO VIRUS - FRIDAY, 27 MARCH 2020
BILL SHORTEN MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE NDIS SHADOW MINISTER FOR GOVERNMENT SERVICES MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG
JUST SAY SORRY, PAY THE VICTIMS, & REDIRECT CENTRELINK STAFF TO VIRUS
When Labor announced last year that Robodebt victims would pursue a class action against the Government, Stuart Robert said it was a stunt and there were no plaintiffs.
There are more than 11,000 plaintiffs and potentially 700,000 Australians in the broader group of victims. And now secret communications that have emerged today reveal Ministers Robert, Anne Ruston and Christian Porter are planning on settling the case and refunding 400,000 fake debts worth about $550m.
Master of disaster Stuart Robert needs to settle this case immediately, restore public confidence in Centrelink by allowing the court to be the independent umpire, and pay the victims back their money as well as interest.
Most importantly he needs to immediately redirect the hundreds of Centrelink staff - who are working on limiting the Government’s Robodebt exposure - back to the frontlines of helping their fellow Australians with their social security needs in this time of national crisis.
Mr Robert is fresh from making up fairy tales about hostile foreign cyber-attacks to seek to cover his failure to bolster the myGov site from crashing from a foreseeable surge in users.
The last thing he should do is let stubborness about his original disaster, Robodebt, compound the damage from his latest disaster - his ill-prepared Centrelink response to the coronavirus crisis.
Take the staff off the Robodebt files, Minister, and put them to work on the safety net for a million displaced Australians.
For Stuart Robert, sorry seems to be the hardest word. He should immediately front the Australian public and apologise to the multitude of Robodebt victims who have suffered so much because of this scandal.