Media Release: Taskforce on the ground to detect welfare fraud in Darwin

14 November 2016

The Hon Alan Tudge MP

Minister for Human Services

The Australian Government’s Taskforce Integrity will be making its presence felt in Darwin this week, setting up across the city to educate locals and tackle welfare fraud.

Since it began its work in July last year, the joint Department of Human Services and Australian Federal Police Taskforce has identified $22.3 million of debt owed to the Commonwealth.

It has also uncovered 292 cases of potential welfare fraud which are under investigation, 36 of which have been referred to the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions.

In its first visit to the Northern Territory, Taskforce Integrity will be on the lookout for those individuals who engage in persistent or wilful non-compliance, or actively try to defraud the welfare system to receive payments they are not entitled to.

At the same time we will be educating the community about how to avoid accumulating a debt.

The Taskforce will be talking to the community this week on Tuesday the 15th and Wednesday the 16th of November at the Department’s Service Centres in:

  • Casuarina on Bradshaw Terrace
  • Palmerston on Maluka Street
  • Darwin on Knuckey Street.

People who receive payments from the Department need to ensure they update their details when their circumstances change. This ensures they receive the correct rate of payment.

The Taskforce’s presence in Darwin this week is an opportunity for the community to visit to update their details or discuss the Taskforce’s work. 

Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge said the Government is absolutely committed to ensuring Australia’s welfare system supports those who genuinely need a helping hand.

“The overwhelming majority of people are honest and do the right thing,” Minister Tudge said.

“However, the unfortunate reality is a small segment of the community try to defraud the welfare system and actively seek to avoid detection.

“It is crucial that taxpayers’ money only goes to those who are genuinely eligible. I encourage anyone with information about potential welfare fraud to visit the Taskforce this week.”

People are also welcome to report suspected fraud online at humanservices.gov.au/fraud or by calling the fraud tip off line on 131 524.