Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Monday, 20 August 2018
Page: 7867


Ms CLAYDON (Newcastle) (16:28): I want to share a story which demonstrates the truly petty and mean nature of this government. A constituent, who I will call Mr J, rang me last week. He explained that when he lost his mother two years ago he had been able to phone a dedicated Centrelink bereavement line, where a person quickly answered and was able to help to register his mother's death. Sadly, Mr J found himself in need of this service again when his father passed last week. But his experience last week couldn't have been more different from the previous one. Mr J soon found out that the bereavement line had gone. Instead, he was asked to call a generic Centrelink number where he got caught in a maddening loop of menus. He ended up in the wrong area and was told there was a 45-minute wait. Frustrated, he downloaded a form to register his father's death. As directed, he printed it and took it to his local Centrelink office where he was told they couldn't help him. They gave him a stamp and sent him on his way. This is no way to treat people facing the grief and trauma of losing a loved one. What kind of small-minded government can't even keep a phone line open for bereaved Australians? I've written to the minister demanding an explanation. (Time expired)