ERA Submission to the inquiry into Centrelink’s compliance program

20 September 2019

“In this submission we aim to:

a) demonstrate the need for an intersectional gender lens in reviewing Australia’s social protection system, including Centrelink’s compliance program,
b) outline Australia’s international human rights commitments to provide social protections which are non-punitive, and which promote gender equality, and demonstrate their incompatibility with Centrelink’s compliance program, and
c) recommend Gender-Responsive Budgeting (GRB) as a method of ensuring social security policies meet Australia’s gender equality goals.

ERA strongly opposes the continuation and expansion of Centrelink’s compliance program and debt collection process for social security recipients. We note there is some concern that the program is unlawful and that a class action to this effect is currently in progress. More broadly, we are concerned about the framing of social protections as entitlements rather than rights in addition to significant flaws in implementation which have a disparate and disproportionate impact on women.”


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