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Tuesday, 28 May 2002
Page: 2553

Ms Jann McFarlane asked the Minister representing the Minister for Family and Community Services, upon notice, 20 March 2002:

(1) Were advertisements placed in the Stirling Times and Eastern Suburbs Reporter community newspapers during February 2002 to explain the issuing of the Family Payment debt letter.

(2) Did the advertisements not have a contact phone number listed even though they asked the public to contact Centrelink if they had any questions.

(3) What was the cost of these advertisements.

Mr Anthony (Minister for Children and Youth Affairs) —The Minister for Family and Community Services has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) Yes

(2) The advertisements were run for four weeks in response to calls to Centrelink Call Centres. This demand was expected due to seasonal factors and the intent of the advertisements was to direct FAO customers to use alternative methods of contacting the Family Assistance Office other than telephoning at peak times. These included using the Internet ( or in person at Centrelink Customer Service Centres, Medicare Offices or ATOaccess sites.

(3) These advertisements cost a total of $1404.