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24    Administration— Department of Human Services—Job cuts

Senator Siewert, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 538—That the Senate—

               (a)       notes that the Turnbull Government cut nearly 1200 jobs from the Department of Human Services in the 2017-18 Budget;

               (b)       acknowledges that 42 million calls to Centrelink hit a busy signal between 1 July 2016 and 30 April 2017;

                (c)       notes that the Government is engaging private contractor Serco to supply 250 call centre workers to answer Centrelink calls from income support recipients;

               (d)       condemns allowing a private contractor to run a critical government service involving access to the personal information of Centrelink clients; and

                (e)       calls on the Government to reinstate the jobs cut from the Department of Human Services, and act on the recommendations of the report of the Community Affairs References Committee, Design, scope, cost-benefit analysis, contracts awarded and implementation associated with the Better Management of the Social Welfare System initiative , as soon as possible.

Statement by leave : The Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister (Senator McGrath), by leave, made a statement relating to the motion.

Question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 31

Senators—

Brown

Gallacher

McAllister

Rice

Cameron

Gallagher

McCarthy

Siewert

Carr

Gichuhi

McKim

Singh

Chisholm

Hanson-Young

Moore

Sterle

Collins

Kakoschke-Moore

O’Neill

Urquhart*

Di Natale

Kitching

Polley

Whish-Wilson

Dodson

Lambie

Pratt

Xenophon

Farrell

Lines

Rhiannon

 

 

 

NOES, 26

Senators—

Bernardi

Fifield

Nash

Ruston

Birmingham

Georgiou

O’Sullivan

Ryan

Brockman

Hinch

Parry

Scullion

Bushby*

Hume

Paterson

Seselja

Cash

Leyonhjelm

Payne

Smith

Duniam

McGrath

Roberts

Williams

Fawcett

McKenzie

 

* Tellers

Question agreed to.