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Centrelink keeps the spirit of Christmas alive in Ipswich.

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Media Release Centrelink keeps the spirit of Christmas alive in Ipswich 21 December 2007

Christmas is coming to some needy families in Ipswich this year, all thanks to the refurbishment of Centrelink at Ipswich.

“When the local Centrelink office had to close for a few days this month to be renovated, staff needed an alternative venue to provide key services for locals to access Centrelink,” said Minister for Human Services, Senator Joe Ludwig.

“A temporary Centrelink service was set up in the Ipswich Compassion Connection International Church to ensure Ipswich residents continued to have access to services and assistance.”

“The donation given to the Church for allowing us to occupy their space has been used by its Pastor, Gary Schultz, to purchase presents for local children, including those in the Ipswich Hospital.”

“Many of these children would not otherwise have been able to celebrate Christmas like other children.”

“It is an honour to know that through this, the Australian Government, through Centrelink, has been able to help the local Ipswich community at this special time of year,” Senator Ludwig said.

Pastor Shultz said the Church was happy to offer Centrelink staff the space needed to continue its services to Ipswich customers.

“I believe the Church needs to be community minded and if the government and the community needs help, then we’re happy to help out,” Pastor Shultz said.

“The motive to let Centrelink use our premises for three days wasn’t the money, but to show we are here to help the Ipswich community.”

“This donation couldn’t have come at a better time, as there are many children who need help and Centrelink has played an important role in ensuring their Christmas is a happy one.”

The Compassion International Church has been raising funds to buy local children Christmas presents for seven years.

Media Contact: John Noble 0409 926 397.