Not just Robodebt

Geoff Taylor, Perth, Jul 21, 2023

It is not just wrongful decisions by DHS and DSS which have had a major impact on people’s lives, but also cruelly poor administration by what is now Home Affairs.

Revelations this week that 115 people including two Australian citizens were wrongly incarcerated for periods up to seven years under our immigration laws is further indication of the need for federal public service reform. Let’s hear from the Ministers and CEO’s involved in those relevant periods, about what they knew and what the did about it.

Probably the most underused tool available to deal with departments whose work adversely affects non-employees is S 19(2) of the federal Work Health and Safety Act, which requires exercise of a duty of care so far as is reasonably practicable. The agency which is charged with enforcing this is Comcare. Was this included in Robodebt Commissioner Holmes’ referrals?

Has it been involved in fully investigating the death in a workplace, under Commonwealth control from Australia, of Reza Barati on Manus Island, for example?

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