Victoria Legal Aid

Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme to hear from witnesses

The royal commission will hear from witnesses today as it examines the establishment, design and implementation of robodebt.

Monday 31 October 2022 12:43am

Our former client Madeleine Masterton will be among the first witnesses to speak before the Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme in proceedings starting today in Brisbane.

Madeleine was the first person in Australia to challenge her robodebt in the Federal Court, specifically the scheme by which Centrelink used income averaging of Australian Tax Office data to allege debts and required people to disprove the debt to prevent it being enforced.

We are pleased the royal commission has focused on hearing firsthand from the people impacted by robodebt, helping build understanding of their experience of a scheme that caused thousands of people significant hardship and distress.

In our role as Madeleine’s lawyers in the litigation, we also welcome the opportunity to provide evidence during the first day of hearings for the royal commission.

Her case and the case of our second client, Deanna Amato, were two important legal challenges to the robodebt scheme.

These cases, along with the work of many individuals, advocates and community organisations, drew attention to a scheme that was inaccurate, unfair and unlawful - and ultimately led to the dismantling of the scheme.

We look forward to continuing to engage with the royal commission, sharing the experiences of our clients and ideas on how people can be provided effective rights to help build a stronger and fairer social security system.

Media enquiries

For media enquiries, please contact Senior Communications Advisor Crys Ja on 0457 483 780, or (03) 9280 3858.

Reviewed 31 October 2022