A Shorten Labor Government will commit funding for 40 full time Department of Human Services jobs in Lalor.
These new jobs will include local service delivery and call centre roles and will reduce waiting and processing times for Medicare and Centrelink.
Centrelink is in crisis under the Morrison 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.
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.
Labor is focused on increasing jobs and services where they are needed, including Lalor– we’re listening to the local community and making the investments needed to build a stronger local economy and create genuine job opportunities.
There are nearly 13,000 age pensioners in Lalor, who have endured lengthy phone wait times to Centrelink as well as lengthy wait times for their pensions to be approved. There are nearly 5000 disability support pension recipients and over 22,000 family tax benefit recipient – all who will benefit from the increased support as a result of these jobs.
“The Morrison Government has made cuts to the Department of Human Services and Centrelink that have left Lalor residents waiting longer to receive support,” Mr Husic said.
“Medicare and Centrelink services help people when they need it most – medical rebates for the sick, processing aged care pensions, child care support, disability support pensions and carers’ allowance payments,” he said. “The truth is Centrelink is in crisis under the Morrison Government. It is under-staffed and under-resourced.”
Member for Lalor, Joanne Ryan, said “Last year my staff and I assisted over 7,000 local residents with Commonwealth issues. A significant proportion of this work involved assisting with Centrelink matters. We heard horror story after horror story of people who were forced to wait months for their aged pension to be processed or who were forced to wait on hold for hours for their phone call to be answered. The horror stories that we heard were a direct result of the government’s cuts to staff.”
“There are over 2,000 young people in Lalor who are in receipt of youth allowance. These young people are either studying or undertaking an apprenticeship. As a former teacher and Principal, I’ve seen firsthand the challenges and obstacles that young people in Lalor face in accessing further education. When our young people qualify for support in the form of youth allowance payments, they should receive it in a reasonable time – not at the end of the first semester of their university study.”
“Labor’s commitment to 40 permanent, full time staff at our Centrelink office in Werribee will help to ensure that locals can get the support they need in a timely manner.”
TUESDAY 26, FEBRUARY 2019