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» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Hell   » Centrelink giving personal information to journalists

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Centrelink giving personal information to journalists
Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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Centrelink is accused of briefing a journalist about the welfare history of blogger Andie Fox, who wrote an opinion piece for Fairfax Media claiming the agency had "terrorised" her over a debt she claimed she did not owe.

That information was used to write a comment piece from the Government's perspective, which raised the prospect of Centrelink being "unfairly castigated" over its controversial debt recovery scheme.

DHS told ABC News it would continue to release personal information to correct media statements made by welfare recipients about the scheme.

Centrelink is the part of our Department of Human Services [DHS], and is responsible for payments to those in need - job seekers, families, pensions, etc.

As per the quote, a blogger wrote an article about their recent debt recovery system, which looks to be a bit of a schmozzle as it is incorrectly matching payments to income. Rather than coming out with some generic evidence, they gave personal details of her welfare history to a newspaper. And say they will continue to do so.

WTF? Since when is a citizen's private welfare records fair game? Are people not allowed to voice their opinion and frustration and put their experiences out there, without the government deciding to go in all guns blazing? I understand the need to set the record straight, but surely this is a step too far?

Then again, same government who released personal medical records of asylum seekers, so why am I not surprised?

Posts: 7800 | From: On the border | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gee D
# 13815

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It beggars belief that the Minister could even think of approving the plan. But still well over 2 years to go before an election must be called.

[ 28. February 2017, 19:20: Message edited by: Gee D ]

Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

Posts: 7028 | From: Warrawee NSW Australia | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged

Ship's broken porthole
# 4544

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I used to work for social services (welfare) in California and I would have been handed my keister if I had told anyone who didn't have a court order that a client was even a client. Privacy was paramount. Even if that person had publicly revealed the fact on her own, I couldn't deny or confirm let alone release details from her file.

I have long since left the department, but within the last year I have helped a friend who had been overpaid (their error) over ten years before for the care of her granddaughters and now that she finally is getting on her feet they came after her for over $2000. Luckily a sympathetic welfare judge knocked off $1200, and my friend's power of persuasion got them to set a reasonable monthly payment for the rest. It galls me that they make mistakes then make their former client's lives a living hell to repair their damage. My friend lives pretty much on the edge as it is. [Mad]

"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

Posts: 21377 | From: CA | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
# 16772

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Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
Centrelink is the part of our Department of Human Services [DHS], and is responsible for payments to those in need - job seekers, families, pensions, etc.

Perhaps some enterprising journalist can publish the names, addresses and salaries of the CentreLink Employees who gave out the information.
Posts: 2990 | From: Seattle WA. US | Registered: Nov 2011  |  IP: Logged

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