Thursday 7th of July 2022

unemployed calling... the robot needs pampering...

callingthe robot needs pampering...

Centrelink’s phone system returned 100 engaged signals in three hours when tested by staff of the independent MP Andrew Wilkie.

The agency’s phone system has come under significant criticism in recent years. In 2015-16, about 42% of the 68m calls made to Centrelink were blocked. Another 7.12m calls were abandoned.

The remaining calls had a wait time average of 15 minutes and nine seconds, although the clock is reset when a call is transferred, which happens to 26% of calls on average.

The human services minister, Alan Tudge, said on Monday his government had taken steps to alleviate pressure on the system.

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long time broken...

12 Jan 2017 ... JEREMY Di Sessa called Centrelink’s family line a whopping 86 times in three days. ... THESE screenshots of unanswered calls show exactly why Centrelink is in so much trouble. ... “This is how good Centrelink is,” Jeremy told e6eca0276943123e7cad798a0f29f035

illegal robo-debt program...

Centrelink’s “robo-debt” system is a form of illegal extortion allowed by failings across a “plethora” of democratic and legal institutions, according to a former member of the administrative appeals tribunal.

Prof Terry Carney, a long-serving member of the AAT, has penned an extraordinary attack on the institutional failings that allowed the robo-debt program.

It’s the second time Carney, who helped oversee the writing of Australia’s social security laws, has used academic journals to condemn the system as illegal this year.

Carney’s last paper said robo-debt involved the enforcement of “illegal” debts that in some cases were inflated or nonexistent, an allegation that was forcefully rejected by the Department of Human Services. Hank Jongen, the department’s spokesman, said at the time that the department “strongly refutes any claims that it has conducted its compliance activities in a manner which is inconsistent with the legislation”.

This time, Carney used a piece in the Alternative Law Journal to map out the numerous shortcomings that allowed the system to come into being and operate for 18 months without challenge.


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robodebt from centrelink robocop...

Centrelink is pursuing the debt of a deceased disability pensioner and other vulnerable people as part of its controversial "robodebt" scheme.

Key points:
  • Six months after a disability pensioner died, Centrelink told his mother he owed a debt of more than $6,700
  • The mother says Centrelink failed to handle her son's case sensitively
  • Leaked documents reveal the extreme time pressures Department of Human Services staff are under to finalise debts


Anastasia McCardel received a call from a Centrelink officer in May and was told her son Bruce McCardel owed a debt of $6,744.52. 

"It was basically along the lines of Bruce owed them money," she told 7.30.

"She made out that I was responsible for those payments."

Mr McCardel had died six months earlier, in November 2018, aged 49.

He was born with Noonan syndrome, a genetic condition that affects the heart and other vital organs. 

Ms McCardel also received a letter from Centrelink in May this year.

Enclosed was a debt notice, also dated to May, thanking Mr McCardel for checking his income information.


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