Minister Tudge wrongly releases personal Centrelink details

Legal guidelines used to justify the release of recipient's personal details were incorrect.

Minister Tudge wrongly releases personal Centrelink details

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has labelled the legal guidelines quoted in Parliament by Human Services Minister Alan Tudge to justify the releasing of personal details of welfare recipient Andie Fox as incorrect.

Labor’s Linda Burney moved to suspend Parliament on Tuesday so that Mr Tudge could explain the release of Ms Fox’s personal details to the media.  

“We are able under the Social Services Act to release information about the person for the purposes of, as I quote, ‘correcting a mistake of fact, a misleading perception or impression or a misleading statement in relation to a welfare recipient’,” said Mr Tudge.

“That is what the law allows. It allows the correction of false information which has been placed in the media. Now in relation to Andie Fox there was false information that was placed into the media, which she herself penned. And so information was provided to correct the record in relation to those allegations,” he said

The guidelines that Mr Tudge quoted are only relevant if the department secretary issues a public interest certificate authorising the release of personal information. DHS has confirmed that no certificate was issued and that it didn’t release the information under the law that was quoted by Mr Tudge. However, the department stated that the information was released to the Minister under the following law:

‘Relevant information may be disclosed for the purpose of this section if the disclosure is necessary ... to brief a minister in relation to issues raised or proposed to be raised publicly by or on behalf of the person to whom the relevant information relates so that the minister can respond by correcting a mistake of fact, a misleading perception or impression, or a misleading statement’

Parliament is expected to be suspended at some point today, so that Minister Tudge can be further questioned about his legal justification for leaking Ms Fox’s personal details to the media.

What do you think? Is the Minister in deep trouble for not seeking a public interest certificate? Is the release of personal details, without the approval of the welfare recipient, morally wrong? Should Minister Tudge resign?

Read more at The Guardian
Read more at abc.net.au

RELATED ARTICLES





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    Bulla
    2nd Mar 2017
    10:20am
    For a fat package,life long perqs what else can be expected from people who claimed to be your representatives?
    jen
    2nd Mar 2017
    11:06am
    If you tell lies to try and justify your position to gain more leverage then you deserve what you get. I am sick of people who are in the wrong being defended for the sake of politics...it does not seem to matter to the media or others that the person is lying or lacks ethics just to get their way...why should we defend a liar....?
    Anonymous
    3rd Mar 2017
    12:48pm
    Apparently. I'm dealing with a suspected forgery/fraud and the banking privacy laws preclude anyone exposing information that might result in evidencing the suspected crime!!
    pedro the swift
    2nd Mar 2017
    11:10am
    He should be sacked , no excuses
    Old Geezer
    2nd Mar 2017
    11:16am
    Rubbish he did the right thing. He should now release of list of all those who rip off Centrelink to the public for all to see.
    TREBOR
    2nd Mar 2017
    11:41am
    Not without a certificate he can't, and I would suggest that if that were to become the norm, a court hearing and order is the order(sic) of the day....

    The info given to him for HIS info (sic), without that certificate, it seems, should not have been released.

    Show him the door....
    Koj
    2nd Mar 2017
    1:41pm
    Old Windy true to form.....
    I can just see windy wearing a big red kangaroo fur, and giving the death sentence to anyone he might have heard might have done something wrong.

    We already have access to information about all those proven to have ripped off centreblink. It's called court records. If you want to live in a country where the government reigns supreme, and can convict anyone of anything, why don't you rack off to russia windy?

    I can just see you amongst the oligarchs waffling on about how I have worked hard and earned every cent, as you put in a trifling takeover bid for some government (citizen) owned installation.

    The way you keep banging on about centrelink fraud suggests you must have some direct knowledge about it. Have your kiddies been up to no good? If so then report them, instead of shouting hang all the bastards from the treetops.

    I'm still pursuing the theory that ole windy is a serving or ex liberal politician. I threw in the maggie thatcher suggestion to eliminate another possibility, and that worked. If ole windy was lexy downer he would have said oooooh yesssss, I am maggie thatcher. I even made public photos of me wearing her stockings and nickers. ahem

    Having eliminated lexy, that leaves some other possibilities. His afternoon naps could be cover for spending some of his time in the house.... though if you look at parliament on tv not many pollies do spend time in the house. eric abetz has that wheedling whine of righteousness while prattling on about the unbelievable so he could be ole windy. Or georgey brandis has windy's firm conviction in the outrageous while swimming upstream in the face of reality. But given the nature of the internet where identity is obscure, I'm starting to favour the possibility of ole windy being a computer program modelled on the antics of dear ole bart (santamaria) .... one of the true models of toxic self interest masquerading under the charade of a compassionate religious being.

    So for a mission de jour to attempt to remove a bart santamaria computer model from ole windy's identity possibilities.... can anyone give reference to a post where ole windy has actually demonstrated compassion for any sentient being - human or animal other than himself? (this does not includes organisations like government, or a political party, or an administrative creation like centreblink)

    come on folks, hunt for examples!
    Old Geezer
    2nd Mar 2017
    2:26pm
    Goodness No a kangaroo fur in this weather more like my unironed birthday suit. Court records no they are so out of date the gossip line around here has more up to date information. I'll let the gossip hand out the death sentences as they are better at that than me. I think it is called pointing the bone in another culture.

    Never had anything to do with politics and don't even vote as it's a waste of time even thinking about it. Watching parliament on TV who are you kidding? Tellie is on a timer to save power so doesn't turn on until later tonight. Been trying to work out how I can set everything up so that it all uses the cheap solar power without me have to do it manually.

    Hey I have a whole extended family on welfare. I went to a funeral of one of them awhile back and I was the only taxpayer in the place. I certainly felt out of place there with all the talk about how to play the Centrelink game. I try to avoid the extended family but they always seem to find me and brag about their latest Centrelink achievement.

    No I'm off the Cuba soon for a wedding not Russia. My brother sent his Russian bride back home but she never made it and still lives in Sydney.

    Time for my afternoon siesta as I have been up since the crack of dawn.
    dougie
    2nd Mar 2017
    4:40pm
    Pedro the Swift.
    You do not even have the integrity to address the person that you are alluding to by their correct name. This posting from you was rude carping and just pure bad manners. You have every right to address the posting by the person concerned but please embrace the right of the other person to have an opinion, no matter how far from yours, without a response in rude carping insulting terms.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Mar 2017
    7:07pm
    I agree and it is very rude to refer to me other than OG.
    Koj
    2nd Mar 2017
    8:20pm
    Dougie! I hope you don't have to rely on centrelink to claim glasses

    Don't slander Speedy Gonzales for no reason... that indeed would be pure bad manners

    check the animal before pulling the trigger. It's a bit ironic that you say "please embrace the right person"

    hang on... you weren't embracing speedy... you were having a go at him!

    reads stuff again...

    ahh.... while banging on at the wrong person you weren't talking about picking the right person... it was about a person's rights.
    christ in mass! you were supporting ole windy about a person having rights!? gawddddddd can I get some of your meds?



    Ole windy ... are you actually saying it's very rude to be creative with how I write your name.... you being the person who is completely contemptuous of individuals' rights either in perspective of humanity or in law?
    Your outlook is (as posted above) "He should now release of list of all those who rip off Centrelink to the public for all to see."

    If you believe that Centreblink (an organisation so underfunded that they can't answer their phones in a professional manner - https://www.google.com.au/search?client=firefox-b&q=centrelink+phone+delays&oq=centrelink+phone+delays&gs_l=serp.1.0.0.1752.6321.0.8418.23.16.0.3.3.0.511.2147.2-2j3j0j1.6.0....0...1c.1.64.serp..15.8.1822...0i131k1.W78zaIygv2Q) should release personal information to the public on what they believe are miscreants - you are either statistically shorthanded in intelligence quotient or not honest to yourself and the world.

    Coincidentally, yesterday I had a phone message from centreblink. A computer voice advised me (in my vernacular) that I was in the shit, I hadn't responded to their queries over a 3 month period, that I should urgently contact them... and more in a similar vein.

    Now... I have had no dealings with centrelink for nearly 40 years in any matter, and have certainly not claimed any entitlement from them. Presumably some poor buggar will experience pain as a result of this communication. It is of course possible that my phone number has been used in a fraudulent transaction... the likelihood is a matter of conjecture. Should I be named and shamed? Well... it would probably be a bit stressful, but I would be a determined litigant to redress the wrong.

    What about you windy? My thoughts are that you are so righteous that in such circumstances you'd squeal like a stuck pig. While such a thing may give me a chuckle in a quiet corner, I'd still be morally bound to support you. Is that the difference between us? that you have no empathy for those in circumstances you have not experienced?

    It's already been put to you that the court system is the mechanism for judging and finding guilt in miscreants, but you aren't accepting that... your bent is the kangaroo court system. That might is right outlook... I'm guessing you were the bully not the bullied at school... that you have little experience in being put under the microscope personally when you are innocent... that you have had little contact with persons in difficulty for a long time... that you find pleasure in judging others ... etc

    I think you eliminated politicians from the puzzle about your background. Are you a serving or ex man in a dress...man of the cloth... you know what I mean. You indicate you have many growth rings, and I can remember in my early years many very righteous and warped men in dresses who were prone to hitting children with sticks. Such a thing indicates a chasm between actions and ramifications.


    ** PS I have sympathy for centreblink staff as a whole... working in a very under resourced area trying to hold together the players of recipients, dysfunctional systems, career public service managers, and parliamentary boofheads with bigger testosteronal levels than IQ or common sence. The last thing the system needs are ignorant rednecks baying like a lynching mob. It's like screwing a stick into the ants' nest of parliament.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Mar 2017
    9:53pm
    Koj thankyou for showing me respect and addressing me as OG and I'm now sure that your conscience is now clear and all is happy in your little world again.

    Why do you think that call from Centrelink was bad? I had one awhile back too. Appears some one may have put me into Centrelink for claiming benefits that they thought I may not have been entitled too. However after explaining to them why I don't even have a social security number (yes you get one of those if you are ever on welfare) they asked me if I would like them to work out if I was entitled to receive any welfare. After all a gentleman of my advancing years needs all the comfort society can offer them. But unfortunately it looks like all my taxes I paid over the years which some think entitles them to welfare when they retire will just have to be used to support someone way less fortunate than me.

    Life is certainly wonderful and it's just awesome to get up each morning and see the sun is shining. Worries are not for me so you lot can have all mine and enjoy them in all their glory.

    By the way stirring up ants nests is child's play and I was very disappointed recently in a national park that the nests had no ants in them to stir up. No too sure my better half would have seen the funny side of it though. Oh well next time I might have more luck.
    Arthron
    2nd Mar 2017
    11:30am
    Just an example of how out of touch this minister is.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Mar 2017
    11:32am
    He is very much in touch as most people have had enough of those getting away with defrauding Centrelink.
    TREBOR
    2nd Mar 2017
    11:43am
    That maybe so, OG, but there are procedures and rules..... politicians are not above the law or the rules...... time for that to be clearly sheeted home to them. Like every jumped-up twerp of a used car salesperson, they all assume they are divine and have divine rights and can do no wrong - and if they do they assume they can just bully and verbal the other side of the issue.

    SOP.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Mar 2017
    12:29pm
    These rules and divine rights shouldn't apply to those who do the wrong thing.
    Illuminati
    2nd Mar 2017
    12:37pm
    Very true Old Geezer. Quick to give information to Centrelink to get more money, slow to inform of a change of circumstances that would result in a decrease.
    TREBOR
    2nd Mar 2017
    1:07pm
    Ill/OG - that is not the subject - the Minister is bound by rules... if you wish to change the point of the discussion to the requirements on a recipient, start a new thread...
    Old Geezer
    2nd Mar 2017
    2:29pm
    I don't Trebor the more he names and shames the better off we will all be.
    Aussie
    2nd Mar 2017
    3:15pm
    Maybe we need a revolution and just spunk a few minister or maybe just torturer them for a bit so they can feel something and learn how to do their jobs properly....bloody hell ..... what now ?????.
    TREBOR
    2nd Mar 2017
    11:33am
    Should Alan Fudge resign?

    Yes - next question....
    libsareliars
    3rd Mar 2017
    1:14pm
    Spot on!
    Fredklaus
    2nd Mar 2017
    12:00pm
    resign
    grounded
    2nd Mar 2017
    12:02pm
    Job well done Minister Tudge....your only short coming is that you didn't expose a lot more about this insidious part time leftist hack....i.e. Fox

    I go down on my hands and knees, to give praise, gratitude and thanks to the exceptionally excellent calibre of Ministers who currently occupy the Treasury Benches of our Federal Parliament.
    Bulla
    2nd Mar 2017
    12:21pm
    must be someone ?????? underground
    TREBOR
    2nd Mar 2017
    1:08pm
    Always good for a laugh these extremists.... see a dole bludger under every bed corner.
    grounded
    2nd Mar 2017
    1:14pm
    Plus the odd Red, Trebor. Frightening times in which we live....don't reckon mate!?

    (How ya going anyhow....we haven't locked horns for a while. I'm still half sloshed from celebrating Australia Day on January 26th. Cheers mate...off to do my shopping now.....The Link just deposited my "PAY" into my Bank A/c....Back to eating again.)
    TREBOR
    2nd Mar 2017
    5:12pm
    Ha, ha - fully understand. Did the shopping yesterday and a bit more today the Good Colonel (C'Link) coughs today...
    Rosret
    2nd Mar 2017
    12:05pm
    Yes. It was an abuse of power to take "revenge" on a Centerlink recipient who has been having extraordinary difficulty in the face of a government blunder.
    Its a typical school yard, "I am wrong but I am not going to let you, a lesser person tell me that" response to a situation that should have been fixed by putting a hold on system until the bugs were amended.
    It has been an absolute arrogance on the part of the government. They may not be setting houses on fire like the last government did with the insulation bats scheme but this is hurting a lot of people who in our society are least able to defend themselves.
    Rosret
    2nd Mar 2017
    12:14pm
    PS If Ms Fox's claims were not legitimate then we have a legal system to pursue false accusations. It is not through the media. This is not Trumpland.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Mar 2017
    12:31pm
    If she went public she should know that to do so one has to know that the media can be very brutal if she tells porkies.
    Rae
    2nd Mar 2017
    2:19pm
    Glass houses and stones or perhaps the need to be without sin to throw stones in the first instance.
    dougie
    2nd Mar 2017
    4:36pm
    If Ms Fox chooses to use the media to put across her argument she musty expect that she will be answered in the same manner.
    Just because one is a Government entity it does not give a complainant the right to put forward whatever he/she wishes without the other party having the right of reply.
    Anonymous
    3rd Mar 2017
    2:02pm
    Sometimes going public is the ONLY way to expose and fight incompetence and abuse of power. Remember, the government ALWAYS has the upper hand. If people can't afford expensive lawyers, they may have limited options to defend against wrong. And Centerlink is OFTEN wrong.

    Yes, Tudge SHOULD be sacked. There are ample avenues to address complaint politely and respectfully, and Tudge and OTHERS should stop pointing fingers and acknowledge that it requires a certain level of desperation to resort to going public with complaints as everyone knows the risks attached to doing that. It matters not who is right and wrong here. What matters is law and ensuring citizens always get a fair go. In a 'David vs Goliath' battle, David should ALWAYS be given greater leeway, to compensate for inherent disadvantage.
    Old Geezer
    7th Mar 2017
    12:02pm
    Trudge should be given a medal for standing up for all of us taxpayers.

    If you go public then you need to realise that some of the mud on your dirty washing will come back to haunt you. There are lots of ways it sort out problems and going public is not a good one at all. You don't need a lawyer to go to court and I have done so myself without one. Even Chamber Magistrate can help.
    Anonymous
    8th Mar 2017
    8:54am
    Stop promoting tyranny, OG. People need the protection of law and ethical conduct. Tudge should be SACKED for being unethical, cruel, and in contempt of law.

    When we lose our right to protest wrongful treatment, we have lost everything.
    Illuminati
    2nd Mar 2017
    12:10pm
    I am sick to death of people going public with complaints, spreading complete lies or half truths about companies or public agencies and then complaining when the target of the lies seeks to publicly respond. We saw it earlier this week with Jetstar falsley accused of stranding a family on Hamilton Island because of a tantrum thrown by a 2 year old. It was the other passengers who revealed that the real reason was the disgusting behaviour of the adults to the Jetstar staff. You take your complaint public then you are fair game for a public response.
    Rosret
    2nd Mar 2017
    12:23pm
    There is a difference between the spokesperson of one family saying something then another passenger offers a more rational response to the situation.
    It would be more like Jetstar stating the facts on social media and then adding all their personal details, how much they paid for the ticket and where they live.
    I think the onus needs to come back to social media software companies and the need for a degree of vetting. But where do you start and stop?
    Its time for a major review of the laws.
    Do you put photos of your Grandchildren on FB? Should you have that right when those photos will be there when little Charlie needs a job in 18 years time.
    It really is quite a serious issue.
    SGW
    2nd Mar 2017
    12:23pm
    The likes of old geezer and grounded seem to like the idea that pollies can have one law and the rest of us have another, In the case of Fox she is just dealing with Government bureaucracy and an estranged partner trying to rort the system and make the state pay for his responsibilities.
    grounded
    2nd Mar 2017
    1:02pm
    Not entirely correct SGW...that I subscribe to a theory of a law for them, and a law for the rest of us. I respect your opinion...though differ greatly.

    To me, this issue is just ANOTHER beat up....as to provide some media relevance for a mediocre critical audience.....i.e. just take a close gander at Burney.

    Oh, the Libs do it also....I am not being biased. Issue going no where...absolutely no where, while the lights are going out, thousands are genuinely unemployed and we are still paying off $Billion dollar plus debt packages, as racked up by these mediocre players....i.e. Labs and Libs.

    You fall in love with them SGW....I have no rose coloured sight when it comes to Labor....and some extent Liberals...anymore!

    Beat up of gigantic proportion....Tudge never got a 'Certificate' to drop a bucket load of transparently correct disclosure over Fox. How puerile has Australian politics become?

    In a week's time, this issue will have been consigned to history....Burney will have had her five minutes of fame, plus a photo op, and the theatre will still be in full swing...only another 'issue' this time. Yep...we do get the Pollies we rightly deserve.....
    RAY GUN
    2nd Mar 2017
    12:30pm
    From what I read of the release I don't see how what she wrote was that misleading. They said they sent letters but she had already said she had changed her address and was no longer on benefits. I was on benefits in 1972 should I keep telling Centrelink where I am? Also to say you just need to phone up Centrelink is so disingenuous - I had to do it for my aged motherinlaw and got so many wrong answers (and stuck on the phone for hours) that if I hadn't worked in the finance industry for 30 years we would have done the wrong thing.

    2nd Mar 2017
    12:33pm
    Tudge either incorrectly read the guidelines or was given wrong information regarding the release. Either way, he was wrong. Is it sufficient to make him step aside?

    What is of greater concern to me is that a department secretary has more power than a minister to authorise release of personal information. Any breach of the privacy laws should only be authorised by a court of law, not treated so casually that only "guidelines" are used to make such a decision. Laws are made to be interpreted by a court and a qualified judge, not a disgruntled politician or department secretary, either of whom could have an axe to grind.
    TREBOR
    2nd Mar 2017
    1:14pm
    "What is of greater concern to me is that a department secretary has more power than a minister to authorise release of personal information.".

    That IS a serious issue for this nation, and I wholeheartedly agree over disclosure being with the approval of a court after a proper hearing from both sides. Expensive I know - so we now need to make all avenues of seeking natural justice free for all (not the free-for-all currently holding sway).

    A big issue is that electeds make legislations and government bodies 'interpret' them - which can lead to many different outcomes from that originally envisaged - and there is little to no recourse via courts for the 'little person' caught up in this.
    Diamond Jim
    2nd Mar 2017
    1:21pm
    Sack the germ forthwith!!!
    KSS
    2nd Mar 2017
    1:31pm
    Ms Fox opened this pandora's box by exposing her own situation and then complains when Centrelink seek to bring some balance with a few inconvenient (for her) details she omitted to acknowledge. Trouble is, she could have written a very similar blog, detailing what she perceives as Centrelink system failures (many of which I have sympathy with) without actually exposing her own personal information and had the sympathy and support of just about all of Australia. Unfortunately, she chose another route and therefore Centrelink has every right to set the record straight. The real casualty in all this is that the systematic failures at Centrelink together with the lack of empathetic dealings with claimants get lost in the alleged privacy breach red herring.

    Can we now move on? Ms Burney and Ms Fox have had their 15 minutes.
    Sundays
    2nd Mar 2017
    1:33pm
    Trudge should never have released personal information regardless. This is setting a precedence which should not be allowed. I wonder how he would feel if his personal details were released to the public without his consent! There were other ways to dispute the claims. What happened to the Government's standard response when they are definitely in the wrong ie it's not our policy to comment on individual cases.
    KSS
    2nd Mar 2017
    1:36pm
    And at the risk of being shouted down for changing the subject, why are we re-hashing this dead story when the real news it Ms Gillard and Mr Shorten allowing 456 visas (those for so called skill shortages) to go to fast food outlets? Exactly what skills do you need to flip burgers and ask "Do you want fries with that?"?

    Where is the poutrage about Australian youth being shut out of employment in favour of foreigners on 456 visas? Oh that's right. It was a Labor program so it's OK. Silly me! It's only Liberal MPs that must feel the full thrust of popular vitriol.
    Anonymous
    2nd Mar 2017
    4:30pm
    Correct KSS but don"t forget this webs sight is ever so left.
    TREBOR
    2nd Mar 2017
    5:18pm
    I believe I roasted that pair when they were in office - I'm an equal opportunity critic... and am also the inventor of 754 Visa - the one that means if you are an Australian you can't get a job here since they have to go to the 457s first.

    The only gates shut firmly in faces are the internal ones.... both Labor and LNP throw the doors wide open to everyone outside to join in the fun and prosperity of the Great Nation of Oz. Both 'sides' of The Tag Team bring in odd lots as immigrants and exclude those WE might prefer, and both sides throw the doors wide open to offshore 'investment' in the opportunity to make a profit here while paying little to no tax here.

    Both equally traitorous.... (being after the mode of the traitor as opposed to treacherous - being after the mode of a gutter snake - what's the difference between a politician and a catfish? One's a slimy, filth-eating bottom sucker - the other is a fish).....)....
    Tom Tank
    2nd Mar 2017
    1:42pm
    So many comments have tried to justify the actions of a Cabinet Minister who broke all protocols regarding privacy of an individual. Anything else is immaterial.
    Our politicians should, I repeat should, set the example for all of to follow. They effectively set the culture and tone of the community.
    In this case he has failed dismally despite any excuse to the contrary and should go.
    Many reading this will remember the case of a Cabinet Minister who was sacked for failing to declare a toy Paddington Bear to Customs on arrival. How far have our expectations of honesty and propriety fallen?
    TREBOR
    2nd Mar 2017
    5:19pm
    Overpaid, over-rated and over here!
    Ken
    2nd Mar 2017
    1:54pm
    I always find these people like OG amusing. I had a mate who hated the idea of the Welfare State. He was 100% against everything it stood for until ... one day when he was 54 years of age, he had a very serious heart attack and of course, he couldn't work anymore. Within 1 month of his heart attack, he knew every cent he was entitled to and made sure he got it.
    Old Geezer
    2nd Mar 2017
    2:03pm
    Unfortunately if OG ever qualifies for welfare the country will be in such a bad state they will not have any money to pay him welfare. Also it has been a long time since he was 54 but he thinks he is much younger than his actual age.
    Koj
    2nd Mar 2017
    2:06pm
    corrrrrrr
    you're not suggesting ole windy could change course if the roaring 40s in his sails changed to the monsoon?
    Old Geezer
    2nd Mar 2017
    2:31pm
    Unlikely he would be caught by the roaring 40s let alone a monsoon. He plans everything to the nth degree and would even have a plan for that too.
    TREBOR
    2nd Mar 2017
    5:21pm
    A skipper of a ship, he bearing the family (German) name - ran into the West Coast of Tasmania back in the late 1800's (I think).... damn those roaring forties..... could be the family branch in Malbun...

    "Any sight of land yet, lookout?"

    "Nay, Skipper - but I can feel it bumping the hull!"
    Anonymous
    3rd Mar 2017
    4:00pm
    So because ''old windy'' won't ever need welfare, it's okay to bully those who do? A rather disgusting attitude, OG.
    Old Geezer
    7th Mar 2017
    11:58am
    If only those who needed welfare got it then we wold not be having this discussion at all. Too many people getting welfare that don't need it so others that do need it suffer.
    Anonymous
    8th Mar 2017
    4:59pm
    How would you know who needs what, OG. A wealthy person lacking any empathy or compassion and presuming to dictate to people you know nothing about? Maybe if we stopped bashing battlers and started recognizing people's right to enjoy the proceeds of their hard work, more would work their way off welfare. I know dozens who will be on full aged pensions in later life because they were denied a little help at a critical time in their lives - a time when they would have needed welfare only temporarily. The assets test change will drive tens of thousands more onto the aged pension over time.
    inextratime
    2nd Mar 2017
    2:10pm
    Old Geezer, you are a very sad old man. Never give anyone a go, straight for the jugular without reading the facts. Waste of time reading your comments. Are you Atilla the Hun reincarnated ?
    Old Geezer
    2nd Mar 2017
    2:27pm
    Sad me I'm jollier than Santa. I'd have been dead years ago if I was not a positive person that see a silver lining in every cloud.
    Tarzan
    2nd Mar 2017
    2:18pm
    O.G for P.M
    Old Geezer
    2nd Mar 2017
    2:28pm
    Nay not enough money in it for me.
    Not Senile Yet!
    2nd Mar 2017
    2:31pm
    Dear Old Geezer...or LNP Devotee...Just as well you are not running our Country Mate!
    Have no issue with pursuing Fraud....but there is a Right Way....and it has to meet Legal Standards!
    Obviously the Minister failed to do so!
    With regard to Personal Information....he crossed a Line....you never release it to the Public....Never!
    With regard to your & the Minister's claim that she Lied....he better have his facts straight....because if his facts/information is Wrong...and sh is able to prove it...he will be Sued!
    This should never have become a bun fight....negotiation is always the key!
    I sincerely hope that the Minister understands that his Job is to Ensure Centrelink Staff do exactly that!
    Some are Incompetant and make big mistakes!
    The Minister's job is to ensure Facts are properly investigated....not play Strong Arm!
    Old Geezer....your statements are simply that of a Bully....used to taking charge....and declaring your views as facts....without proper investigation or actual knowledge....those days are GONE...Sir!
    Your disrespect for Privacy of Personal Information is nothing but CREEPY!
    Starting to show just how far past ur ....use by date....really is. And that's just plain Sad!
    Old Geezer
    2nd Mar 2017
    2:35pm
    I bet the media knew the facts before the ministers even told them.
    TREBOR
    2nd Mar 2017
    5:23pm
    Difference between Parliament and the Titanic? Both are equally leaky.... like to run full tilt at obstructions ... and are both headed for the bottom...................
    Aussie
    2nd Mar 2017
    3:10pm
    Who in hell is the minister to break out privacy ???? shit our country is in a total disaster anybody with authority can do anything they want ..... IS AUSTRALIA BECOMING A COMMUNIST COUNTRY ?????? Well we citizens have nothing that will defend our rights ......

    AGAIN "BILL OF RIGHTS" is required

    Shit ..... What will hapen next ???? I just wonder
    Not a Bludger
    2nd Mar 2017
    3:20pm
    The Minister did the right thing in rebutting a slanted "half"story and properly made public all of the facts.

    I, like a number of your other correspondents, am sick and tired of people trying to rort the system and once found out attempt to hide behind "privacy reasons".

    As I have said before, they are trying to get my/our money (taxes) for free and, worse, think that they are entitled to it.
    Aussie
    2nd Mar 2017
    3:37pm
    Totally missing the point ..... I agree with you but when the rights of the citizens are taken out then is a different matter.

    The only people that should provide access to private citizens information is by court order signed by a Judge ...... and because the law provide the minister a power to do so is totally wrong in 2017 we need to protect our rights mate

    I agree with you about the people that do the wrong thing but is not an excuse to brake privacy
    Anonymous
    2nd Mar 2017
    4:29pm
    I"M with Not a Bludger and Old Geezer name and shame them we have far to many bludgers on welfare that don"t need it.
    TREBOR
    2nd Mar 2017
    5:24pm
    They could always go into politics............................
    Anonymous
    7th Mar 2017
    7:08am
    Who ripped off Centrelink, OG? You are always self-appointed judge and jury, but never let the facts get in the way of your vile condemnation and cruel sentencing. Heaven help us if people like you were allowed to make key decisions impacting on others.

    Why don't you, for once, actually pay attention to the FACTS. Or is your comprehension so lacking that you can't understand the most basic information? The woman said she was overpaid, as a result of inadvertent error, and she wanted to fix it. She just wanted to be treated with respect and basic fairness. There is NO evidence whatsoever that she ''ripped off'', much less that she is dishonest.
    Old Geezer
    7th Mar 2017
    11:56am
    Wow I'm honoured. I didn't even comment and I get a mention.

    Yes Rainey I pay attention to the facts and the fact is this woman had legal avenues to defend herself but shoes to hang her dirty washing out in public. Well by doing that she has comprised herself and Trudge had every right to respond they way he did.

    Good heavens if she was overpaid then why didn't she just pay it back with all this drama. That would have been respect and fairness but to do what she did is unforgivable.
    Anonymous
    8th Mar 2017
    10:16am
    What she did was NOT unforgivable. The response was unforgivable. If Centrelink were in the right, they had more than sufficient power to exercise their rights and a simple, polite public declaration that they disagreed with her claims as to what occurred and had taken steps to address her concerns appropriately was all that was necessary to defend their position. They ARE POWERFUL. They don't need to abuse that power to hurt defenceless people who have far less capacity to protect their interests.
    Anonymous
    8th Mar 2017
    10:16am
    What she did was NOT unforgivable. The response was unforgivable. If Centrelink were in the right, they had more than sufficient power to exercise their rights and a simple, polite public declaration that they disagreed with her claims as to what occurred and had taken steps to address her concerns appropriately was all that was necessary to defend their position. They ARE POWERFUL. They don't need to abuse that power to hurt defenceless people who have far less capacity to protect their interests.

    2nd Mar 2017
    6:02pm
    miss fox choose the limelight as all theatre personalities crave for, had she gone to centrelink to sort out the problem it most likely would have been dealt with there and then, instead she choose to play the victim and went public the result: it became general knowledge and to think the minister is not allowed to defend the workers of being falsly accused of lying iwould be nothing more than a victory for those who are, have rorted the system and still do, it reminds me of all those so called filmstars??? who pledged, after Mr. Trump was democratic elected as the President of the United States of America, to emigrate to Canada, the number so far is NILL after all would you swab sunny california for the frozen plains of Canada, unless of course your name is labor mick, miss his comments in these columns, always good for a laugh, his feet are frozen into his skies, I now prefer the heater and as for koi's remarks, wonder why his name refers to the japanese gold fish as they will eat anything what is put in front of him/her as long as he/she does not have to use their brains as it is well known they don't possess any
    Koj
    2nd Mar 2017
    7:33pm
    hey dutchy
    put your glasses on
    no... the other ones... for reading
    there's a lot that's fishy round here, but not me
    RGEE
    2nd Mar 2017
    6:41pm
    YES HE SHOULD . ANOTHER AREA WHERE HE HAS DISPLAYED HIS BULLYING TACTICS.
    Anonymous
    3rd Mar 2017
    4:01pm
    No OG, maybe not hard of hearing, but certainly lacking the ability to comprehend and reason.
    Eddy
    2nd Mar 2017
    8:48pm
    I have better things to do with my life so I have not been following this issue. I do not know what Ms Fox claimed or with what the Minister responded. However I believe that if the Minister made the usual denials backed up with some factual non-personal detail to refute any claims then no harm has been done. If however the Minister released personal details like full name, date of birth, home address, phone number, etc etc then he should be rebuked in the strongest possible terms.

    2nd Mar 2017
    10:10pm
    koi, koi another juicy worm, hap, hap, no good advising to be careful, a brainless unit as koi will snap at anything that moves, even if the hook is bigger than koi, koi, which is not hard to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! by the way who is rgee, is that the new name for rorters greed anonymous, please state where I bullied you or for that matter who ever, my advise to you if you can't stand the heat, with other words the truth, stay out of the kitchen unless you can come up with some honest and decent arguments to prove I was wrong, so easy to shoot your mouth off however I research before I open my mouth wish everybody did the same, the world would be a better place for it. as for my opinion on this matter: you go public and accuse another person of telling porkies, you lose your right of privacy as the other party has the same right to defend themselves for telling the truth. so greed, call me anything but at least come up with some substance to at least make your claim believable, don't be a follower all your life, start thinking for yourself!

    7th Mar 2017
    7:26am
    How can anyone defend a public servant failing to adhere to regulations and ensure his actions are legally compliant. I don't care whether Ms Fox was right or wrong. The law applies to Tudge. What sort of society do we live in that people condone an abuse of power by a bureaucrat on the grounds that they have judged the victim (perhaps quite wrongly) be deserving of hurt? Wrong is wrong, no matter who the victim is or what they did.

    I think privacy laws go too far. I'm dealing with a situation where they actually protect someone who appears to have committed fraud and a financial services organization that appears to have been either knowingly complicit or appallingly negligent. But law is law, and it must be adhered to. Lobby for change if you think it wrong, but DO NOT condone breaking it - ESPECIALLY by those in positions of power who, if allowed to break the law, have greater capacity than most to cause hurt.

    So many here condemning innocent people and demanding suffering be imposed on the presumption of guilt, with neither evidence nor even basic investigation. What sort of society do we live in? When the presumption of innocence is lost, the human race is damned.
    Old Geezer
    7th Mar 2017
    11:50am
    What laws Rainey? The only ones protected by your laws are crims not innocent people. Privacy laws are just used to protect one's own interests and profits. Yes that's right I deal with it everyday and get even prefect documentation rejected as to accept it will mean less profits for them.

    This woman went public and in doing so compromised her own privacy. Why can't the accused go public too and defend themselves? What a stupid society we live in if that can't be done? Take about a nanny state well we have gone way beyond that with people saying Trudge should have done what he did.

    Stop supporting the crims Rainey as that is why we are where we are today.
    Anonymous
    8th Mar 2017
    8:40am
    I'm not supporting crims, OG. The woman is NOT a ''crim''. You are disgusting using that term. We have laws to protect people against wrongful persecution, thankfully. The law says ''innocent until proven guilty''. Actually, YOU are a crim for breaking that law and condemning someone with no proof of guilt and no conviction against them.

    I have objected to privacy laws. I'm involved in a matter where they enable evidence of a suspected significant crime to be covered up. But I object in the right way and ask relevant law-makers to consider the problem the law creates and consider how to remedy it - by changing the law. I DO NOT support a powerful person or entity breaking the law at the expense of someone less powerful

    I've seen dozens of instances of people being hurt by Centrelink getting it wrong. And they have inadequate options for remedy. Sometimes people get desperate when they feel persecuted and unable make their pleas heard. This woman obviously fell into that category. And Centrelink should have responded by ensuring she got a proper hearing and fair dealing - NOT by abusing its superior power to cause hurt.

    STOP defending tyranny, OG. We need protection from abuse of power - so that INNOCENT people don't suffer wrongfully.

    It's a shame that laws made to protect good people occasionally help people who do wrong, but the answer is NOT to allow persecution of good people.

    Stop abusing our laws by branding people you know nothing about ''crims''. It's not only vile and disgusting, it's ILLEGAL. And that makes you a CRIMINAL, OG.

    8th Mar 2017
    10:20am
    People who defend Tudge are SICK. Ordinary Australians have limited defence against errors or oversights, but Centrelink is POWERFUL - and very often wrong. All Tudge had to do if he felt the publicity was unfair was make a polite statement that Centrelink disagreed with the woman's version of events and had appointed staff to deal appropriately with the issues and ensure her concerns were fairly addressed and the rights of taxpayers appropriately protected.

    There is NO EXCUSE FOR USING BUREAUCRATIC POWERS TO BE A BULLY.