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Regional Victoria’s Centrelink wait times under the spotlight

Joint media release

Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Shadow Minister for Government Services and the Digital Economy
Senator the Hon Sarah Henderson, Senator for Victoria

Senator for Victoria, Sarah Henderson, is calling on the Albanese Labor Government to release information about how long locals are having to wait for vital social security payments during the cost of living crisis.

A series of detailed questions have been submitted in the Parliament, asking the Minister for Government Services, Bill Shorten, to provide key data on how Services Australia – the government agency which delivers government services and payments – is treating residents in regional Victoria.

Senator Henderson said transparency is an important step in supporting vulnerable people in regional Victoria.

“The cost of living crisis means more people are reaching out for help, so we need to make sure that the federal government is delivering services and payments smoothly and quickly to residents in regional Victoria,” Senator Henderson said.

“That’s why the Coalition has formally asked Minister Bill Shorten to provide us with official data about how long it’s taking for locals to get the help they need when they make a claim or visit a Centrelink office. 

“Unfortunately, Labor’s recent Budget didn’t provide any plan to address the cost of living crisis, so this information will help give a fuller picture on how our community is coping at a local level and whether support is getting to where it’s needed.

Shadow Minister for Government Services, Paul Fletcher, said Australians deserve seamless, simple and safe service delivery from government.

“The federal government must ensure people are spending less time on the phone or in a queue at Centrelink and more time in a job,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Unfortunately, Labor’s track record isn’t great – in February this year it was revealed that over 2.1 million Australians chose to terminate a call rather than wait on the phone to Centrelink.

“But there also needs to be a strong focus on enhancing digital platforms like MyGov, so more Australians can access vital information at their fingertips.”

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