The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) first and foremost acknowledges that today is an incredibly difficult day for tens of thousands of people across the country.
The Robodebt scheme had far reaching and devastating consequences and those affected will be looking to the report and to our country’s leaders with hope that there will be accountability and reform.
The union believes that report handed down by Commissioner Catherine Holmes takes the necessary steps to deliver that.
The Royal Commission took a comprehensive and wide-ranging approach to uncovering how the scheme was developed, implemented and continued in spite of serious and sustained warnings from experts, including frontline staff.
The report is clear in its findings: Robodebt was a crude and cruel mechanism that was neither fair nor legal.
Today’s report confirms that CPSU members who called out this scheme did the right thing, and our union is incredibly proud to represent them. Today and every day.
The CPSU would like to thank the Commissioner and the many public servants who worked tirelessly over a long period to deliver today’s report.
Quotes attributable to Melissa Donnelly, CPSU National Secretary:
“From the outset, our union has been clear that we wanted to see accountability and reform. I am confident that the Royal Commission’s final report takes us a long way to achieving these outcomes.
“The 57 recommendations made by the Commissioner Holmes address a myriad of reforms and changes that need to be made to ensure this can never happen. In particular, CPSU members welcome the recommendations calling for better consultation and engagement with frontline workers.
“Those public servants who were on the frontline are without doubt, on the right side of history here. They care about their jobs, about their customers and about the APS.
“Senior APS leaders and members of the Opposition would be well served by taking a leaf out of their book.
“The Robodebt scheme had far-reaching and devastating consequences, for members of the public who were affected but also for Centrelink employees who were forced to implement a scheme they knew to be unethical and illegal.
“Frontline workers tried to stop this scheme in its tracks – they stood up and spoke out time and time again, but were ignored, silenced and even threatened.
“While the union and the public are not privy to the sealed section, its existence assures us that there will be further steps to ensure accountability.
“This report shows us that strong, frank and fearless leadership across the public service would not have allowed the Robodebt scheme to happen.
“And it is a huge step towards the accountability, reform and closure that the victims of this scheme need and deserve.
Media contact: Tori McGregor 0429 000 620