Australians should be proud that we have a strong welfare system that protects equality. It means we have the ability to help out those in a tough spot and need a hand up, or can’t work because of a disability, or have lost their super or home through no fault of their own. 

So when it’s hard to get access to the money that you need to live because of long wait times on the phone or in a Centrelink office, I understand it can be frustrating and demoralising. It’s not okay to be repeatedly demonised by Scott Morrison and his Government for debt you don’t owe, or for just needing help getting through a tough time, which is nothing to be ashamed of. 

In fact, despite being labelled as a scandal and facing widespread condemnation, the inhuman ‘robo-debt’ scheme was expanded to target pensioners, after driving some of Australia’s most vulnerable people to the brink. This shows callous disregard for the lives of our pensioners by the Minister for Human Services, Michael Keenan and by extension, the government which supports him.

People are concerned about the Government’s mismanagement of departments like Centrelink. In particular, the impact that their job cuts are having on the staff and their ability to provide vital support services to our community.

This is why I announced that 50 new, local Department of HumanServices jobs will be created in our area under a Labor Government. I’m also concerned about the Government’s spending on private contractors for public services like Centrelink. I will work with Labor to abolish the staffing cap for federal government agencies if we’re successful at the next election.