Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Swan and Kernot hamper privacy investigation

The Minister for Community Services today demanded an apology from the Member for Lilley, Mr Wayne Swan, for hampering investigations into alleged privacy breaches and deliberating misleading the Australian public.

I am appalled with the way both Wayne Swan and Cheryl Kernot have appeared to conspire to hamper investigations into alleged breaches of privacy.

Not only did their irresponsible actions delay appropriate investigations into alleged privacy breaches but they also allowed their staff to continue to breach people’s privacy by rifling through the files to conduct a so-called ‘audit’.

“I first became aware of this issue on Monday through an inquiry from a journalist and immediately asked Centrelink to investigate. However they were hampered because the journalist was not forthcoming with any information

“Wayne Swan and Cheryl Kernot’s complete disregard for the privacy of these people is astounding.

“Centrelink investigations into this matter have established that these files are NOT Centrelink files.

“If the Member for Lilley had an actual understanding of the portfolio he professes to cover, he would have known that these could not be Centrelink files.

“Wayne Swan has deliberately set about on a campaign to panic 6.1 million Centrelink customers who are some of the most vulnerable members in the community.

“He should immediately apologise to all Centrelink customers along with the 22,000 dedicated Centrelink workers who have been besmirched by his wildly inaccurate allegations.

“Once again the Member for Lilley has put publicity ahead of community service.