A Shorten Labor Government will create 200 permanent full time Department of Human Services jobs in Townsville.
These 200 new and secure jobs will inject up to $14.4 million into the local economy each and every year.
This announcement will further cement Townsville as a national hub for Commonwealth Government service delivery and administration.
It is a further example of Federal Labor’s commitment to the decentralisation of Commonwealth Government service delivery.
The 200 jobs will include local service delivery and call centre roles that will provide support for people across Australia.
Regional centres like Townsville have been ignored when it comes to decentralising Government service delivery.
The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has turned its back on North Queensland, with a campaign of cuts to DHS and Centrelink that are leaving Townsville residents waiting longer to receive support.
Medicare and Centrelink services help the Townsville community when they need it the most – when people are sick, processing aged care pensions, child care support, disability support pensions and carers allowance payments.
These jobs will improve access to Medicare and Centrelink and reduce waiting and processing time for older Australians - important services that have been left to deteriorate under the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government.
Income support is complex and that’s why it is important there are properly trained and permanent staff who are familiar with the personal circumstances facing income support recipients.
There are 15,000 age pensioners in Townsville, who have endured lengthy phone wait times to Centrelink as well as lengthy wait times for their pensions to be approved. There are 2,700 young people on youth allowance, who are studying or undertaking an apprenticeship – all who will benefit from the increased support as a result of these jobs.
The truth is Centrelink is in crisis under the Turnbull Government. It's under staffed and under resourced.
The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has cut and outsourced over 2,700 staff from DHS and Centrelink and cut thousands of public sector jobs in regional Australia.
These cuts have coincided with increased Centrelink phone wait times, and income support recipients being pushed to the edge of poverty waiting months for their payments.
These roles will be permanent and full time, and staff will be properly trained to assist Australians on income support.
Labor can afford this because we have made the tough decisions to make multinationals pay their fair share of tax, close tax loopholes used by the top end of town.
We will also clamp down on blowouts in spending on contractors and consultants, and unnecessary and unreasonable travel.
Labor’s focused on Townsville jobs and Townsville services – we’re listening to the local community and making the investments needed to build a stronger local economy and create genuine job opportunities.