3,000 extra staff to help Services Australia

3,000 new staff are cutting the claims backlog and call wait times at Services Australia.

The Australian Government is delivering on its $228 million commitment to deliver the positions in metropolitan and regional Australia.

From regional Queensland to Tasmania, these recruits are being trained to improve customer experience, processing claims and answering calls.

Minister for Government Services, the Hon. Bill Shorten MP, said within weeks of the new staff starting, claims on hand and phone wait times are declining.

“The extra staff are improving access to Centrelink and Medicare payments and services. This Government is committed to supporting Australians when they need it most.”

“When Labor formed government in May 2022, the Liberals had eroded government services across the nation.

“As well as the Robodebt catastrophe, the Liberals slashed jobs at Services Australia, just as Australians where emerging from the colossal Covid-19 pandemic.

“Since Labor was last in Government more than a decade ago, staffing levels at Services Australia have declined.

“In 2011-2012, there were about 37,000 staff employed at Services Australia.

“Today, even with the additional positions, staffing levels are more than 3,000 fewer than they were a decade ago.

“People work at Services Australia because they want to make a difference, and the thousands of applications the agency’s received for these roles are testament to that,” Minister Shorten said.

“These new permanent jobs will help every Australian who accesses government services.

“It’s also a welcome boost for Services Australia’s dedicated staff who have been feeling the pressures of under-resourcing and can now focus on providing the best possible service to Australians.”

Staff were recruited across the country, including in regional locations such as Townsville, Cairns, Toowoomba and Maryborough, Alice Springs, the Illawarra and regional Victoria.

It also included:

  • almost 500 staff in Western Sydney
  • almost 640 staff in Melbourne
  • over 500 staff in Southeast Queensland
  • over 200 staff in Perth
  • almost 400 in Adelaide
  • almost 400 in Canberra.

The extra staff includes a bolstering of interpreters to help the agency engage with culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

“These extra resources are also on top of the additional 850 emergency response staff announced in the Federal Budget,” Minister Shorten said.

“The contingency to manage natural disasters has already been called on during the agency’s support to Far North and South East Queensland during the devastating floods.

“This boost has created jobs across the country and will deliver a better government services experience for all Australians.”