WOMAN “PENALISED FOR GOVERNMENT’S FAILURE”

ADVOCATES URGE FAIRER CENTRELINK RULES ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGES

Equality advocates have slammed a decision by Centrelink to demand the repayment of over $6,600 from a Tasmanian woman after she told the government social security agency she entered a same-sex marriage overseas in 2016.

The woman’s partner is not an Australian citizen and lives abroad, yet the marriage is being recognised retrospectively since same-sex marriage legislation passed.

Tasmanians United for Marriage Equality spokesperson, Rodney Croome, said,

“This woman has done nothing wrong and is being penalised because of the failure of the Federal Government to recognise her marriage when it occurred.”

“I urge Centrelink to develop fairer policies on recognising overseas same-sex marriages so this doesn’t happen again.”

The married couple do not live together and do not have shared finances so they cannot be considered a de facto couple under Centrelink rules.

The woman’s case was raised on the Tasmanian statewide ABC radio morning program by Ella Haddad who is a Labor candidate for the state election in the seat of Denison (Clark).

A copy of Ms Haddad’s interview can be heard here: http://ab.co/2yVUHqW