Down Debt

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has just announced that former Queensland Supreme Court Chief Justice Catherine Holmes will lead the Royal Commission into the previous government’s automated debt scheme.

“Robo-debt was, of course, the brainchild of the Coalition – a computer program to find out if someone owed the government money rather than involving a real person,” the prime minister told reporters. in Sydney.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced details of a new royal commission. Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

“One of the commitments I made [during the election] was to put humans back in [the Department of] Human Services to make sure this never happens again. We know that nearly 400,000 Australians have fallen victim to this cruel system. A human tragedy with very real consequences for its victims.

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The robot-debt system was rolled out in 2015 and required those who receive Centrelink to prove they did not owe government debt. In many cases, people were falsely accused and the scheme was deemed illegal.

“The royal commission will examine how the scheme was set up, who was responsible for it and why it was needed,” the prime minister said.

“[It will also recommend] measures to prevent this from happening again.

Albanese added that the final report will be delivered to the Governor General by April 18, 2023.