Joint media release - The Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, and the Hon Marise Payne MP, Minister for Human Services.
couples who are fraudulently claiming social security payments, or committing
migration fraud, are under the Australian Government’s microscope thanks to a
new data-matching programme.
for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton and Minister for Human
Services Senator the Hon Marise Payne today announced the programme will target
welfare recipients who are on single payments but have declared sponsorship of
a partner for immigration purposes.
said the joint operation will enable the Department to identify people
suspected of being involved in migration fraud through the partner visa
year, my Department identified an increase in the number of allegations
relating to the facilitating of contrived marriages,” Mr Dutton said.
data-matching programme is part of a whole-of-government approach to fraud
detection and prevention. People who deliberately take advantage of Australia’s
welfare and migration system will be caught.
member of the community suspects that a person is unlawfully in Australia,
committing migration fraud, or working in breach of their visa conditions, then
they should contact the Immigration dob-in service on 1800 009 623.
consequences are serious – people may be forced to repay the benefits they were
not entitled to, have their visa application refused, or face criminal
Payne said the programme may also identify people who are fraudulently claiming
higher-paying welfare payments for singles, when they are a member of a couple.
Government is committed to protecting taxpayers’ money and the integrity of
Australia’s social security system by ensuring people receive the right payment
at the right time,” Minister Payne said.
who receive a Centrelink payment and deliberately fail to declare their correct
relationship status to the Department of Human Services are breaking the law.
financial year, data-matching activities conducted by
my Department returned $132.7 million in net benefits to government.
programme is a win-win for taxpayers as it strengthens our ability to prevent,
detect and investigate fraud matters which impact both Departments.”
partner visa data-matching programme will begin in mid-2015 and initially run
for a year, conducted in line with privacy legislation and guidelines set by
the Privacy Commissioner. Suspected welfare or migration fraud will be
investigated by the relevant Departments.