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A Stronger Services Australia Means Better Support for Residents

Albanese Labor Government Delivers For Greenway In 2023-24 Budget, Michelle Rowland, Breast Cancer, Western Sydney, Mobile Coverage

For too long, our community, along with others, felt the repercussions of previous Coalition Government’s decisions to cut vital staff from Services Australia.

The introduction of the flawed and illegal Robodebt scheme and severe staff reductions led to unnecessary hardships for many Australians, often at times when they needed support most.

Under the previous Government, essential payments like JobSeeker, the Disability Support Pension and Age Pension were delayed by weeks or even months.

This was more than an inconvenience: it was a barrier to living with dignity for those who needed help. The Coalition’s oversight before and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated these challenges, leaving Services Australia understaffed and underfunded.

However, with the election of the Albanese Labor Government, we’ve turned a corner.

Recognising the urgent need for action, the Government has onboarded more than 3,000 new permanent staff members to process critical Medicare and Centrelink claims.

Their impact has been profound and swift, achieving a dramatic reduction of 500,000 claims to Services Australia’s backlog in just ten weeks.

For North-West Sydney, this means that residents are receiving support faster, ensuring more financial support gets to Australians dealing with cost-of-living pressures.

Western Sydney

The recruitment of new staff has also supported the agency to reduce claims by nearly 40%, including slashing Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) claims on hand by almost 60%.

This progress is encouraging, and it’s just the beginning. With the continued work of these dedicated new employees, Services Australia’s backlog is on track return to normal levels by mid-year.

Services Australia staff are on the frontline of governments service delivery, and their commitment – including by training and integrating these new recruits – will mean that more Australians can access simple, helpful, respectful and transparent support in a timelier way.

I am confident that the changes we are implementing will ensure a stronger, more responsive Services Australia that can better serve Australians — including those in North- West Sydney

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