Hearing Block 3
Dates: 23 January to 3 February 2023
Location: Presidential Ballroom, Pullman Brisbane King George Square, corner Ann and Roma Streets, Brisbane City QLD 4000
Time: 10:00am AEST
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 and 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.
Public hearings will generally run from 10am to 4:30pm AEST, however these times are approximate and subject to change. The hearings will be open to the public although seating will be limited. The hearings will also be streamed live on our homepage, and a transcript will be available afterwards.
Please note that the hearings are held in Brisbane, Queensland, which does not observe Daylight Saving Time. For example, 10am Brisbane will be 11am in NSW, ACT, Victoria and Tasmania. Find out more about Daylight Saving and Australian time zones.