Candice Cooke, Australia - June 2021
The Australian Federal Court has approved a $112m settlement for victims of the government's unlawful Robodebt scheme
The Federal Court of Australia has approved a $112m settlement between the commonwealth government and the victims of the robodebt scheme.
The Federal Court of Australia has approved a $112m settlement between the commonwealth government and the victims of the Robodebt scheme.
Justice Bernard Murphy criticized the federal government's "massive failure" as he approved the settlement. The judge said it should have been obvious to government ministers and senior public servants that the debt-raising method central to the scheme was flawed. He said the evidence showed it was unlawful.
The robodebt scheme which ran between 2015 and November 2019 saw the government unlawfully raise over $1.7bn through Centrelink debts against 443,000 people. The settlement will on be awarded to those who paid money towards their alleged debt notices from Centrelink calculated on the averaged Australian Tax Office (ATO) data.
The class action is represented Bernard Quinn QC, and Min Guo, instructed by Gordon Legal. The Commonwealth is represented by Michael Hodge QC and Zoe Maud, instructed by the Australian Government Solicitor. The primary case is Katherine Prygodicz & Ors v Commonwealth of Australia.