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Social Services Legislation Amendment (Enhanced Welfare Payment Integrity) Bill 2016

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Enhanced Welfare Payment Integrity) Bill 2016

By LIV Submission

Advocacy Civil Rights Human Rights Legislation 

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The LIV sent a submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee’s review of the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Enhanced Welfare Payment Integrity) Bill 2016.

The Bill introduces the power to issue Departure Prohibition Orders (DPOs) on individuals travelling overseas who have unpaid welfare debt (under the family assistance, paid parental leave, social security and student assistance schemes) and have not made 'satisfactory arrangements' for repayment. If an individual breaches a DPO they may be subject to a criminal offence under the Bill with 12 months' imprisonment. The Bill also removes the six year limitation period on the recovery of welfare debts.  The submission raised concerns that the Bill may limit the right to freedom of movement under art 12(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights without sufficient justification. The LIV recommends that the Committee not support the Bill in its current form and suggests a number of amendments to ensure the Bill operates in the least rights restrictive manner to achieve its purpose.

The Bill has now lapsed due to the election being called, however it may be re-introduced after the election.

View the submission.

Contact

Josie Polak
Senior Lawyer, Legal Policy
P. (03) 9607 9442
E. jpolak@liv.asn.au


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