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ACOSS today paid tribute to the determination and strength of all who challenged their unlawful debts via the class action that has resulted in a $1.2 billion settlement today.

As a result of the settlement, around 400,000 people will receive compensation as well as repayment of funds and the Commonwealth has also agreed to drop almost $400 million in invalid debts.

ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said: “We now need an independent, arms-length inquiry to establish accountability for this extraordinary abuse of government power inflicted upon hundreds of thousands of people around Australia.

“Robodebt caused untold stress and trauma for people and their families. We all need an assurance that a terrible scheme like Robodebt can never be repeated. We also need people responsible to be held to account in an open and transparent manner.

“People who were pursued for money under Robodebt must also receive an undertaking that they will not again be pursued for alleged money owed. They have been through enough for the government to again chase them for alleged debts from up to 11 years ago,” Dr Goldie said.

ACOSS Senior Advisor on Social Security Charmaine Crowe said:

“We acknowledge the tireless efforts of individuals with robodebts, as well as advocates and organisations who have worked so hard to abolish Robodebt and ensure people are repaid.

“We repeat our longstanding call for the government to work with us and other experts in social security, including people affected, to establish a fair and humane system for debt recovery.”