COMMUNITY LEFT OUT IN THE COLD: LIBERALS CLOSE THE DOOR ON WARRAWONG CENTRELINK AND MEDICARE

Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones today slammed the Federal Liberal Government for refusing to listen to the local community in Warrawong, Port Kembla, Cringila, Lake Heights, Primbee, Kemblawarra and Berkeley who are angry at the Liberals decision to close the Warrawong Centrelink and Medicare office – effective from Monday, 30 July 2018.

Shortly after hearing news of the proposed closure back in June, local Members Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones met with Human Services Minister, Michael Keenan, to let him know that the community needs the service and urge him to reconsider this decision.

The local MPs held numerous community meetings and street stalls and collected over 1000 signatures on their petition.

Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones have today released a number of real case studies compiled by the Illawarra Legal Centre and the Macedonian Welfare Association which demonstrate why our community needs this service.

Warrawong and the surrounding suburbs are home to many people who migrated to the Illawarra from the 1950s to work at Port Kembla Steelworks – many of whom are now elderly and have English as their second language. 

Closing the Warrawong office just isn’t right.  Malcolm Turnbull’s Government has cut staff across Human Services as this is having a dramatic impact on local people accessing services – this office closure will just make this worse.  Is the Government just hoping to make it so difficult for local people that they give up? 

This out of touch Liberal Government only cares about giving massive hand-outs to big business – they don’t care about a local pensioner with a disability being forced to catch a bus to Wollongong to get the help they need.

 

CALL WAIT TIME INCREASES

Payment type

2016-17

2017-18 as at 31 March

Older Australians

18 minutes and 59 seconds

23 minutes and 1 second 

Students

31 minutes and 15 seconds

35 minutes and 0 seconds

Families

16 minutes and 19 seconds

21 minutes and 12 seconds

 

PROCESSING TIME INCREASES

Payment type

2016-17

2017-18 as at 31 March

Age pension

36 days

49 days

Carers payments

28 days

47 days