Bill's Media Releases

 LABOR WILL BOOST MEDICARE JOBS AND SUPPORT IN LONGMAN - SUNDAY, 22 JULY 2018 

The Moreton Bay region will have improved access to Medicare support, veteran payment support and Centrelink services, with a Shorten Labor Government to add an extra 50 staff to Centrelink centres in Caboolture to cut waiting times and ensure communities have the support they need.

Centrelink centres help people when they need it the most - with complex Medicare claims, veterans’ payments, processing aged care pensions, child care support, disability support pensions and carers allowance payments.
 
Medicare and Centrelink are one of the most common touchpoints a community will have with the Government - but this Government’s cuts and neglect mean that horror stories are all too common in the Moreton Bay region.
 
People shouldn’t have to fight a bureaucratic battle every time they try and get the Medicare or veteran payment support they need, that’s why Labor will fund 50 additional staff at the Caboolture centre, injecting $3.6 million into the local economy.
 
Labor's commitment also includes five dedicated staff to travel to areas like Bribie Island so that these communities can access support and service face-to-face.
 
We’ve heard stories of Queenslanders being placed on hold for hours on the phone and waiting months for their payments.
 
Others have been directed to access Centrelink online, where they are finding the website difficult to navigate, or not working at all.
 
The truth is Centrelink is in crisis under the Turnbull Government. It's under staffed and under resourced.
 
And still - the Turnbull Government is cutting even further. In this year’s budget, the Turnbull Government announced it would cut 1,280 jobs from Centrelink, and has outsourced a further 1,250 jobs to labour hire. The Government is privatising Centrelink by stealth.
 
Medicare, veteran payment and income support can be complex - that’s why it’s so important that Centrelink has permanent, full-time staff who are properly equipped to manage complex issues.
 
Mr Turnbull and Trevor Ruthenberg are more interested in giving the big banks a $17 billion tax handout than fighting for services that our communities rely on. Trevor Ruthenberg is doing nothing to fight against Turnbull’s cuts to Medicare, veteran payment and Centrelink support that will see people living in the Moreton Bay region wait longer for assistance.
 
Labor is investing in more Medicare, veteran payment and Centrelink jobs in Longman, in improving the services our communities rely on. And we can fund this because we won’t give the big banks $17 billion.
 
Only Bill Shorten and Susan Lamb are fighting for a fair go for Longman.


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