Contributed by Ugly
Rhys Couzza has ended his life. He was suffering deep depression and was on medication for it.
Then he started receiving aggressive letters from Centrelink, via collection agency Dun and Bradstreet. They demanded that Rhys pay back almost $18,000 paid to him by Centrelink in seven days. He was threatened with legal action and the “garnishing” of his wages.
This is nothing short of bullying, of a person who had never heard that he owed the money before.
As Rhys spiraled downward, there was no interest in his side of the story from Centrelink. Early signs of the coming tragedy were revealed in drawings and a growing reluctance to read his emails, according to his girlfriend Brit.
He doodled a man with a gun in his mouth – behind the figure, instead of blood, was a spray of dollar signs she said.
Rhys spoke to his mother, who lives on the Sunshine Coast, about his ordeal. They discussed the need to go to Centelink and have the mess sorted out.
In the end, he killed himself.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that others have ended the same way, from the same bullying by Centrelink.
It is about time something was done about it. At the very least the robo debt collection must be stopped at once. The longer this goes on, the more tragedies there will be.
There should also be an inquiry into the government policies that are driving overall operation of Centrelink