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Centrelink recruiting: not slashing jobs.

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Hon. Larry Anthony, MP Minister for Community Services

16 March 2001 CENTRELINK RECRUITING - NOT SLASHING JOBS Centrelink is currently recruiting hundreds of new permanent staff for its call centres around the country the Minister for Community Services, Larry Anthony, said today.

"Claims by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) that Centrelink had cut 600 jobs from its call centre network over the past nine months are misleading.

"The 600 jobs referred to by the CPSU were temporary positions created for May to August last year to assist with the implementation of the new tax system and the Family Assistance Office.

"The CPSU was consulted regarding this staffing strategy so it is curious that they are making an issue of this 6 months after the positions finished.

"Centrelink is currently recruiting more than 700 mostly-permanent staff for its call centre network. These jobs will be mainly in regional areas where the bulk of these centres are located." Mr Anthony said.

Mr Anthony also rejected CPSU claims that waiting times for job-seeker interviews had blown out to two weeks.

"Centrelink's latest figures show an average waiting time of four days for Newstart and Youth Allowance new-claim appointments in Centrelink's Customer Service Centres," Mr Anthony said.

Contact: Claire Kimball ph 6277 7240 / 0413 486 926

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