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Hearing block 3 information

The Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme will resume public hearings on Monday 23 January 2023, with the third hearing block running until 3 February 2023.

Hearing block 3 will continue the Commission’s focus on the fairness, legality and policy considerations of the Robodebt Scheme in the face of increasing criticism and scrutiny including in the media, by the AAT, the online forum #Not my Debt and the Ombudsman.

The hearing block will also consider the enforcement measures where alleged debts were not paid, the Government’s continuing defence of the scheme and the impact on individuals.

The Commission intends to include the following matters:

  • The impacts of the scheme on individuals;
  • Growing criticism of the scheme after its implementation, both internally within Government agencies and from external groups and individuals;
  • The range of responses from the Department of Human Services and relevant Ministers to criticism of the scheme;
  • Decisions of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) on matters pertaining to Robodebt;
  • The ongoing defence of the legality of the scheme, in the face of such criticism, adverse AAT decisions and a contrary external legal advice in 2019;
  • The use of media by ministers and government departments;
  • Attempts by the legal profession to bring proceedings in the Federal Court, challenging the legality of the scheme; and
  • Measures taken or considered where alleged debts were not paid including attempts at criminal prosecutions, departure prohibition orders and garnishee notices.

A list of witnesses scheduled for hearing block 3 is available.

Hearings will be held at the Grand Windsor Ballroom, Pullman Hotel King George Square, corner Ann and Roma streets, Brisbane.

The hearings will be streamed live through the Royal Commission's website, with a video available shortly afterwards and a transcript available on the following day.

Please note that the Commission will not hold a hearing on Thursday 26 January due to the Australia Day public holiday.

Public submissions

The deadline for public submissions to the Royal Commission is approaching.

To date the Royal Commission has received 573 submissions.

The final day to make a submission is Friday 3 February 2023.

There are a number of ways to make a submission:

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