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Wednesday, 13 September 2017
Page: 10239

Ms RYAN (LalorOpposition Whip) (13:49): I will never forget sitting with constituents after they had received robo-debt letters from Minister Tudge, telling them that they owed money to Centrelink dating back years and that they would have to provide pay slips to prove that those assessments were incorrect. Well, I have never seen such injustice.

Today we wake to the headlines telling us that, from him issuing those and that terrible Christmas that people had to March, 20,000 Australians have been found either to have owed less than was asked or not to owe at all. In my electorate, that includes, in the postcode for Werribee, 30 people who were told they owed the Commonwealth money and who owed nothing. Forty-two people had their debt severely reduced.

This is completely and utterly unjust, and it highlights for my community just how much this government cares about them: it cares nothing. It didn't care about disrupting people's Christmas. It didn't care about the pain and misery. It didn't care about how people felt being accused of theft when they were not thieves. Minister Tudge should resign today on the back of this front page. Minister Tudge is a disgrace to this government and a disgrace to this country.