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More job cuts.

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Wed, 10th September 2008 MORE JOB CUTS

Senator the Hon Helen Coonan Shadow Minister for Human Services

Reports that the Child Support Agency is set to lose up to half of it’s West Australian staff have today attracted criticism from the Federal Opposition, Shadow Human Services Minister Helen Coonan said this morning.

Out of 300 jobs cuts from the government agency across Australia, WA has been hit the hardest with 70 jobs scrapped.

The Rudd Government has pointed to increasing office rental prices as the reasoning behind the large number of WA agency job losses.

“Here is a government that will happily pour $13 million into an ineffective and inefficient price watching website - GroceryWatch - no questions asked,” Senator Coonan said.

“But when it comes to funding agencies that support so many Australian families every day, like the Child Support Agency - the Rudd Government cries poor.

“If Kevin Rudd was really interested in helping Australian working families, he would scrap useless schemes like GroceryWatch, which is a total waste of time and money and inject that $13 million into programs and support offered by agencies such as the CSA,” Senator Coonan said.

The staffing cuts come following the increased workload on CSA workers from child support changes that were implemented on 1 July 2008.

“These child support changes were implemented less than three months ago and there needs to be adequate staffing across Australia to ensure that any teething problems are quickly attended to,” Senator Coonan said.

“The CSA staff in the west are already working in a demanding environment and the workload is only going to get heavier as the WA population grows.

“Now they are set to lose 100 out of their 220 staff in the state.

“This is a government that has its priorities terribly mixed up.”