The federal opposition has announced it will provide funding for 40 new full-time jobs at Centrelink in Werribee, if it wins the upcoming Australian election.
Although no date has been announced for the federal election, it must be held by May 18.
Lalor MP Joanne Ryan and the opposition’s human services spokesperson, Ed Husic, made the jobs announcement last week.
Ms Ryan said that if Labor wins the election, it would fund the 40 new jobs at Centrelink’s Werribee office.
She said that last year, she and her staff assisted more than 7000 residents with issues related to services provided by the federal government.
“A significant proportion of this work involved assisting with Centrelink matters, we heard horror story after horror story of people who were forced to wait months for their aged pension to be processed or who were forced to wait on hold for hours for their phone call to be answered,” Ms Ryan said.
She said that many of these issues were caused after the government cut and outsourced more than 2700 staff from Centrelink and the Department of Human Services.
Ms Ryan said that adding new staff to the Centrelink office in Werribee would help reduce waiting times for both Centrelink and Medicare clients, with both services based in the one building.
She said there were more than 2000 young people in Lalor who received the Youth Allowance from Centrelink; nearly 13,000 age pensioners and nearly 5000 disability support pension recipients.