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Centrelink bursts into rural and regional Australia.



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Media Release

John Anderson Minister for Transport

and Regional Services

 

CENTRELINK BURSTS INTO RURAL AND REGIONAL AUSTRALIA

 

Rural and regional communities will have a real say in how their pensions, family allowances and other Government benefits and services are delivered, under a major expansion of Centrelink announced today.

 

Today’s announcement by the Federal Minister for Community Services, Warren Truss, of more than 100 new Centrelink rural service outlets has been strongly supported by the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson.

 

Mr Anderson said this was an important initiative in meeting the Coalition’s priority election commitment to improve the delivery and availability of Commonwealth services in non-metropolitan Australia.

 

The Rural Outreach program extends the coverage of the Centrelink network to rural and remote areas and, crucially, allows services to be tailored to local needs.

 

For example, Centrelink managers in partnership with the local community can choose from a range of options for delivering services. These options include local agents, mobile and visiting services and technology such as free facsimile machines, the internet and video conferencing.

 

“This is a concrete initiative which will deliver on the ground and be finalised by May,” Mr Anderson said. “The new outlets supplement the 400 Centrelink offices already in place across Australia in the larger towns and cities.

 

“The new services will be available Australia-wide, showing the diversity and reach of the program. It is an example of how the Federal Government can lead the way in helping to provide services where traditional delivery methods are not always viable.”

 

Mr Anderson said rural and regional Australia was continuing to benefit from innovative programs and developments pushed by the Howard-Fischer Government.

 

About 6,800 permanent jobs are expected to be created from four major projects announced earlier this month, which will receive tax rebates under the Infrastructure Borrowings Tax Offset Scheme. One is the Eastern Gas Pipeline, which will create huge employment and business opportunities along the regional coastal corridor between Melbourne and Sydney.

 

Media contact: Paul Chamberlin 02 62777680 / 0419 233989

 

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