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Fresh robodebt allegations delay Centrelink class action

  • September 22 2020
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Fresh robodebt allegations delay Centrelink class action

By Grace Ormsby
September 22 2020

New allegations have been added in the class action against the Commonwealth government over the robodebt scheme that saw Services Australia illegally issue debt collection notices to more than 370,000 Australians.

Fresh robodebt allegations delay Centrelink class action

Fresh robodebt allegations delay Centrelink class action

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  • September 22 2020
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New allegations have been added in the class action against the Commonwealth government over the robodebt scheme that saw Services Australia illegally issue debt collection notices to more than 370,000 Australians.

Fresh robodebt allegations delay Centrelink class action

An update from Gordon Legal to members of the robodebt class action case outlined that the Commonwealth had been required to provide the law firm working on behalf of class action members “thousands of documents that are relevant to the operation of the robodebt system”.

According to the firm, the documents were progressively provided “very close to the date on which the trial was scheduled to begin” – which was reported as 21 September 2020.

Subsequent review of the documents by Gordon Legal “bolstered the claims that could be made against the Commonwealth in the class action. Those claims cover specific people who were involved with the implementation of the robodebt system. They also include new claims for exemplary and/or aggravated damages against the Commonwealth.”

Permission was then granted by the court to add the new allegations to the case, which resulted in the Commonwealth being granted more time to prepare so it can attempt to respond to the new claims.

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According to Gordon Legal, the rescheduled court commencement date will be determined shortly.

With the court case taking place in Melbourne, the new date could be as early as November this year, or it may be pushed back to early 2021, depending on COVID-19 restrictions, the email outlined.

Gordon Legal said it has a preference for the case to be heard in-person “in the normal way, if that is possible. That is because of the complexity and importance of this case to the six lead applicants and hundreds of thousands of group members.”

The firm has expressed its disappointment that the trial would not be going ahead in line with the original schedule, but told class action members “we think it is more important that we are able to put the best possible case on your behalf”.

Services Australia began rolling out $721 million in refunds for the illegal scheme from July 2020.

Are you entitled to a refund from the scheme? Here’s what you need to do

Fresh robodebt allegations delay Centrelink class action
Fresh robodebt allegations delay Centrelink class action
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About the author

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Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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