Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Centrelink sackings: a sign of things to come.



Download WordDownload Word

image

 

MEDIA RELEASE

SUE WEST

SENATOR FOR NSW

 

9 November 1998

CENTRELINK SACKINGS: A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME

The loss of 5000 Centrelink jobs around Australia could be the first step in an attempt by the Coalition to scale down government funded job-seeking se rvices in the bush.

That's the view of Western Area Senator, Sue West, who says comments made by former social securities minister, Jocelyn Newman, indicate such plans have been in the wings for some time.

"Speaking on the creation of Centrelink in September last year, Senator Newman promised "historic reform" including the possibility of "one stop state and commonwealth offices in country areas where it is not viable to have individual offices."

"I would like to know how the Coalition will decide which country towns are not viable enough to have a fully functional Centrelink office," Senator West said. "Will it be the same criteria that banks use when they assess their commitment to regional areas?

"Scaling down staff will be the first step in scaling down services. The loss of these jobs will mean an overall reduction in face to face access for every pensioner, job seeker and family relying on government assistance to get by.

"In the same speech last year Senator Newman promised the newly created Centrelink will mean "no more queues or standing behind counters", we now know this is because there will be no counters left before which to queue.

"The Coalition must make its intentions clear. I call on the government to promise rural people these sacking are not the first step of plans to privatise Centrelink and wash its hands of the needy," Senator West said.

Media Enquiries: Briana Blackett (02) 6361 7211.

 

 

 

jy