The Albanese Government has honoured its election commitments to boost services and staff numbers at Services Australia offices and undertake a comprehensive audit of the myGov digital platform.
Minister for Government Services, Bill Shorten, promised to reinvest in the Public Service and the Budget will see an additional 200 Australian Public Service (APS) staff members delivering services to Australians, particularly in regional areas.
Minister Shorten pledged to stop the culling of Centrelink services that had been the calling card of several Liberal Government Services ministers.
100 more APS Centrelink Workers will be hired in Far North Queensland, and the Government will also invest in more service delivery staff for Services Australia in Sorell in Tasmania.
Additional funding of $588 million for Services Australia in 2022-23 has reinforced their role as the front line, service delivery agency when Australians are in their time of need.
This also follows election commitments already fulfilled, including the establishment of a Royal Commission into Robodebt, which will report back by April 2023, and the myGov Audit, which is now underway and is being led by eminent Australian businessman, David Thodey AO.
Quotes attributable to the Hon. Bill Shorten, Minister for Government Services
“These measures will ensure that Services Australia is equipped to deal with challenges, including the need to provide face-to-face and outreach services in regional and remote areas, as well as to those who still need a human touch.”
“As Australians head into another summer with uncertainty around natural disasters, it’s great to be able to cement a full-time workforce that can swing into action when emergencies strike.
“The former Liberal Government’s denial of climate change as the driver of more frequent natural disasters resulted in a failure to plan and properly resource Services Australia.
“In the recent floods that have devastated parts of Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania we can see how a specialised workforce efficiently and rapidly helps Australians in need. This policy ensures Services Australia has this enduring capability.”