The Australian Government’s Taskforce Integrity is on the ground in Craigieburn and surrounding areas this week to educate welfare recipients about their obligations.

Operating in non-compliance hotspots, Taskforce Integrity is helping to ensure Australia’s welfare safety net is strong and sustainable into the future.

The joint Department of Human Services and Australian Federal Police taskforce has identified over $29.5 million in welfare debt since operations began in November 2015.

Taskforce Integrity’s return to Victoria follows the Dandenong operation in July this year. In just three months, the taskforce has completed more than 3500 compliance activities and identified over 780 debts worth in excess of $2.1 million.

Along with identifying intentional fraud, Taskforce Integrity is also speaking to the community about how they can avoid accumulating a welfare debt.

Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge encouraged people to engage with the taskforce during its visit.

“While the vast majority of people do the right thing, the unfortunate reality is that some people deliberately defraud the system while others inadvertently fail to update their records,” Minister Tudge said.

“Taskforce Integrity is in Craigieburn to help the community understand their obligations and avoid accruing a debt.

“It is also targeting the small number who deliberately and intentionally try to take more welfare payments than they are entitled to. Those people will be identified and potentially prosecuted.

“We are fortunate to have a strong social safety net, but there must be integrity in the system and Taskforce Integrity contributes to this.”