Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation

Media release: Record Child Support debt recovered

4 February 2018

The Hon Michael Keenan MP

Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation

The biggest lump sum payment of child support on record from the use of a Departure Prohibition Order (DPO) has seen $350,000 in owed child support paid to a family that had not received money in years.

More than $6 million in child support has been collected since July last year from parents who owed money and were trying to leave the country.

This looks set to surpass the strong results of 2016-17, when more than 1,800 DPOs were issued, recovering almost $10 million.

It is also three times the amount recovered in 2010-11, unfortunately highlighting a pattern of complacency in the Labor Party when it comes to recovering debt.

The Coalition Government is committed to the wellbeing of Australia’s children, and are investing the necessary resources to ensure kids from separated families get the support they are entitled to receive.

DPOs give welfare authorities far-reaching powers, including the ability to stop parents trying to leave Australia, until their debts are repaid or payment plans are entered into.

Almost 700 DPOs have been enforced since July 2017, prompted by tip-offs, data matching and other intelligence-based collection activities.

These results are another example of how this Government’s sharing of data across agencies is improving the lives of everyday Australians.

Overwhelmingly, the majority of parents in the Child Support Scheme have no debt, and more than three quarters of parents pay child support in full and on time.

Overall in 2016-17, the department worked with separated parents to facilitate the transfer of $3.5 billion to support about 1.2 million children.

Page last updated: 27 March 2018