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Centrelink swoop snares cheats.

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Minister Ludwig’s Media Contact: Sarah Cosson 0423 823 843

MEDIA RELEASE Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig Minister for Human Services Senator for Queensland

Tuesday 2 December 2008

Centrelink swoop snares cheats

Minister for Human Services, Senator Joe Ludwig, today sent a strong warning to potential welfare cheats, following a successful cash economy swoop near Griffith last week.

Centrelink Fraud investigators have cancelled or suspended welfare payments to 23 customers they caught earning undeclared cash in the onion picking industry.

“This operation has potentially saved taxpayers more than $160,000,” Senator Ludwig said.

“The Rudd Government is committed to helping people with a genuine need.”

“While the vast majority of Centrelink customers do the right thing, the Government has no tolerance for people who try to rip off the system.”

“People receiving welfare payments have a clear responsibility to tell Centrelink about any income they earn from employment.”

“This is a timely reminder to all Centrelink customers, that they have an obligation to inform the agency of any changes to their personal circumstances.”

Senator Ludwig said the success of this operation highlights the impact that Centrelink’s Fraud Investigations Teams are having on the cash economy.

“Centrelink is targeting industries associated with labour hire, security, agriculture, fishing and cafes and restaurants,” he said.

“Welfare fraud can exist in almost any industry, but some sectors are more prone to cash economy activities than others.”

“I’ve asked Centrelink to work closely with these industries to fight welfare fraud.”

The public can report suspected fraud by calling the Australian Government Services Fraud Tip-off line on 13 15 24, via the Centrelink website at or visiting or writing to their local Centrelink office.