Australia Aussies reporting welfare cheats in record numbers

13:11  07 november  2017
13:11  07 november  2017 Source:   9News.com.au

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There were more than 8000 reports of welfare bludging over the last 12 months.

THE number of Aussies reporting welfare cheats hits an all-time high, with 2115 tips each week dobbing in mates and collegues. Australians have turned public spies for the Federal Government as the number of informants dobbing in welfare cheats is set to reach the highest on record .

Video provided by A Current Affair

The Gold Coast has become a new haven for welfare cheats, with the AFP moving to the beachside 'burbs to crack down on bludgers.

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge said his department, along with the AFP, analysed data to determine where fraud was taking place - and had now been led to the Gold Coast.

Many locals agreed it was time welfare cheats in the area faced the law.

The Gold Coast currently has 17,000 people receiving Newstart allowance and some of them move to the area for the lifestyle.

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A record amount of Australians are reporting friends and family who they believe are rorting Centrelink. New South Wales had the highest amount of cheats investigated, with Andrew Weisman from the DHS described the number those committing Centrelink fraud as being at an all-time high.

There were more than 8000 reports of welfare bludging over the last 12 months. West Australians are dobbing in their neighbours over dole bludging and welfare fraud in record numbers .

Among them is 21-year-old Casey, who works part-time as a construction labourer when work is available, and lives out of his van.

"When I need to work I go up to Brisbane or whatever," he said.

"I've got the freedom, I've got the balance as well."

The Gold Coast has fast become a new haven for welfare cheats, © A Current Affair The Gold Coast has fast become a new haven for welfare cheats, Former dole bludger Adam, 42, told A Current Affair he had moved to the Gold Coast for the lifestyle after high school.

But now, he has no time for those rorting the system.

"Obviously it is a big deal, a lot of money getting wasted and lost," he said.

"It's not fair to the taxpayer who's actually doing the work."

AFP officers are now based out of two local Centrelink offices.

They are being aided by Australians dobbing in welfare cheat neighbours in record numbers.

The number of annual welfare tip-offs was 99,000 just a few years ago, but has now jumped to 108,000.

New South Wales had the highest number of tip-offs with 31,000, followed by Queensland with 25,000 and Victoria with 21,000.

These tip-offs led to 118 referrals for prosecution and $40 million recovered.

Gold Cost business owner Todd Warner said he understood the lure of the Gold Coast, but the influx of dole bludgers gave the area a bad name.

"We all work hard, we all deserve to live in a place like this, so come and make the most of it, but rip in and have a crack," he said.

To report somebody you suspect is cheating the welfare system, click here.

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