Saturday 8 July 2023

08 July 2023

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam





The purpose of  Commission of inquiry ought to be educational. A ‘judgement’  finding fault with a previous government confirms weak faith in the sovereignty of the parliament by those who use such judgment.


The Robodebt inquiry report indicates such risk which in turn returns to parliament through voters who fail to realise their sovereignty . The following introduction is from the ABC:


What is Robodebt?

It's the informal name given to a debt recovery program starting in 2015 that falsely accused members of the community of owing money to the government.

The Robodebt scheme automatically issued notices to welfare recipients identified as having debts through a process of income averaging.

This compares a person's reported income with their income as measured by the Australian Tax Office.

While similar techniques were used in the past, the scale of Robodebt's debt recovery was unprecedented.

Shortly after the scheme was implemented, people started to complain over being issued bills for debts that simply didn't exist.’

The parallel of the above happened in our strata body corporate, in which my claim that a resolution was not lawful even if passed by majority , if the requirements of the law in terms of the Budget had not been satisfied, was dismissed.


We the people, empower governance and the parliament in turn shares its sovereignty with the People. A sovereign parliament would be self-governing during the elected period. Its actions need to be in compliance with the law. If the government acted in breach of the law, it is the duty of the Opposition in parliament to highlight this and walkout in protest, if it was not heard by the government of the time.

The Opposition in parliament is equally responsible as the government, to ensure that the policies are within the existing laws. A weak Opposition weakens the Sovereignty of the whole.

As per my knowledge, Australian Labor led by Mr Bill Shorten, was in Opposition at the time the said scheme was introduced in 2015. Mr Shorten is currently the minister responsible for Centrelink, through which the Robodebts were raised.  It therefore seems strongly like a political move, rather than governance action.

If criminal action is recommended there needs to be confirmations of wrong-doings tested beyond reasonable doubt. Such action needs to be against particular individuals who gained as individuals.  

The principle of limitation prevents action against politicians by those who had the responsibility to prevent a manifestation. If the government was the virus, the Opposition had the responsibility to be the vaccine. Morally, an opposition taking action for wrongs that could have prevented during its time in opposition, is pampering itself. The then Opposition was ‘out of time’ as well as ‘out of place’. 

The wrongs by a government are carried by the ‘position’ and not the individual holding the position, acting in good faith.

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