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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 321


Senator McGRATH (QueenslandAssistant Minister to the Prime Minister) (15:44): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator McGRATH: The government strongly believes it is appropriate to request information from welfare recipients when we identify a discrepancy between the two sets of income data. Seeking such information has been a longstanding practice of both Labor and coalition governments. This practice will continue. The Department of Human Services has a legal or moral obligation to ensure that public moneys are delivered in accordance with the law and to recover any debts as is legally required under the act. Every Australian expects that the government will take steps to protect the integrity of the welfare system and investigate a discrepancy when discovered.

Question agreed to.