Canberra, Australia, Feb 5, 2019 -- The man tipped to be Australia’s next Prime Minister rolled into Nowra with an election promise.
If elected, the Labor Party will create 50 permanent, full-time Department of Human Services jobs in Nowra, Ulladulla and Batemans Bay.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten will formally announce the promise at a public meeting at Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre at 6pm.
The jobs will include local service delivery and call centre roles at Centrelink and Medicare that will provide support for people living in regional Australia.
There are 27,700 age pensioners in Gilmore, who have faced lengthy phone wait times to Centrelink and for their pensions to be approved. There are also nearly 6000 recipients of Carers Allowance, more than 7000 locals on a Disability Support Pension and more than 10,000 people who receive Family Tax Benefits in Gilmore – who will all benefit from the increased support as a result of these jobs.
Medicare and Centrelink services help the Nowra and surrounding communities when they need it the most – when people are sick, processing aged care pensions, child care support, disability support pensions and carers allowance payments.
Extra jobs will improve access to Medicare and Centrelink and reduce waiting and processing time for older Australians – services that have been left to deteriorate under the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison government according to Labor.
These 50 new, secure jobs will also inject up to $3.6 million into the local economy each and every year.
Mr Shorten said this is an example of federal Labor’s commitment to the decentralisation of Commonwealth government service delivery.
"Regional centres like Nowra have been ignored when it comes to decentralising government service delivery," Mr Shorten said.
"Income support is complex and that’s why it is important there are properly trained and permanent staff who are familiar with the personal circumstances facing income support recipients.
"The truth is Centrelink is in crisis under the Morrison government. It's understaffed and under-resourced.
"The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison government has cut and outsourced over 2,700 staff from DHS and Centrelink and cut thousands of public sector jobs in regional Australia. These cuts have coincided with increased Centrelink phone wait times, and income support recipients being pushed to the edge of poverty waiting months for their payments.
"Labor can afford this because we have made the tough decisions to make multinationals pay their fair share of tax and will close tax loopholes used by the top end of town.
"We will also clamp down on blowouts in spending on contractors and consultants, and unnecessary and unreasonable travel."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Centrelink is a government agency delivering a range of Commonwealth services to the Australian community. Centrelink is a statutory authority responsible, through its Board, to the Minister for Family and Community Services. The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, has responsibility for Centrelink’’s day-to-day operations. Centrelink operates under the Commonwealth Services Delivery Agency Act 1997 which formally came into effect on 1 July 1997.
In the United States, Medicare is a national social insurance program, administered by the U.S. federal government since 1966, currently using about 30 private insurance companies across the United States. Medicare provides health insurance for Americans aged 65 and older who have worked and paid into the system. It also provides health insurance to younger people with disabilities, end stage renal disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2019
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