Bill's Media Releases

LABOR WILL BOOST CENTRELINK JOBS AND SERVICES IN BURNIE AND DEVONPORT - SUNDAY, 8 JULY 2018

The North-West and West Coasts will have improved access to Centrelink services, with a Shorten Labor Government adding an extra 50 staff to Centrelink centres in Burnie and Devonport to cut waiting times and ensure communities have the support they need.

Centrelink centres help people when they need it the most – processing aged care pensions, child care support, disability support pensions and carers allowance payments.

Centrelink is 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 on the North West and West Coasts.

People on the North-West and West Coasts shouldn’t have to fight a bureaucratic battle every time they try and get the support they need, that’s why Labor will fund 50 additional staff at the Burnie and Devonport Centrelink services, injecting $3.6 million into the local economy.

Labor's commitment also includes five dedicated Centrelink staff to travel to regional areas like the West Coast, Circular Head and King Island so that these communities can access support and service from Centrelink face-to-face.

We’ve heard stories of Tasmanians being placed on hold for hours on the phone and waiting months for their payments.

In May, we heard the story of Marsha Ferris who waited six months to receive her age pension. It was only after the intervention of Justine Keay that Marsha received her payment.

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.

Income support is complex - that’s why it’s so important that Centrelink has permanent, full-time staff who are properly equipped to manage the complex issues facing income support recipients.

Mr Turnbull and Mr Whiteley are former bankers who are more interested in giving the big banks a $17 billion tax handout than fighting for services that our communities rely on. Mr Whiteley is doing nothing to fight against Turnbull’s cuts to Centrelink that will see the North-West and West Coasts wait longer for assistance.

Labor is investing in more Centrelink jobs in Burnie and Devonport, 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 Justine Keay are fighting for a fair go for the North-West and West Coasts.
 

CALL WAIT TIME INCREASES

Phone line

2016-17 

2017-18 as at 31 March

Older Australians

18 minutes and 59 seconds

23 minutes and 1 second 

 

PROCESSING TIME INCREASES

Payment type

2016-17

2017-18 as at 31 March

Age pension

36 days

49 days

 

BRADDON

RECIPIENTS 

WENTWORTH

RECIPIENTS 

Age pension

14,928

Age pension 

6,708

Carers allowance

3,962

Carers allowance

1,190

Disability support

6,190

Disability support

1,449

Newstart

4,780

Newstart

1,252


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