January 16, 2018

A plan to hire an American call centre consultant to advise the Turnbull Government on how to fix the Centrelink call wait time crisis is just another attempt to privatise Centrelink by stealth.

Turnbull and Keenan just aren’t fair dinkum about fixing the Centrelink call wait time crisis.

Throwing more money at consultants and more outsourcing won’t fix the problems at Centrelink.

How much is this American consultant going to cost Australian taxpayers?

Mr Keenan should immediately come clean and disclose how much he is spending on this American consultant.

This is nothing more than empty spin from an out of touch Government.

In last year’s Budget, Mr Turnbull cut 1,200 jobs from Centrelink.

Then it was revealed that 55 million calls to Centrelink went unanswered and 182,000 calls a month take an hour or more to get answered.

We’ve seen this before from Turnbull. More consultants. More outsourcing. Less permanent full time staff. Longer call wait times. 

In October, Turnbull outsourced 200 call centre roles to help address the backlog in unanswered calls.

Centrelink is in crisis under the Turnbull Government.

Centrelink needs permanent, full-time staff, who are qualified and familiar with the often complex issues facing Australians who require income support.

Centrelink is under-resourced and understaffed.

Centrelink needs people, not consultants.

Turnbull wants to make it so difficult and so painful for Australians to access our social security system, that they will just give up.

The Department of Human Services has seen a merry-go-round of Ministers, with four ministers over the past four years.

The Government and its four ministers has spent its entire time in office ideologically obsessed with attacking staff and their conditions, resulting in diminished services and demoralised staff.

Turnbull and Keenan need to take Centrelink seriously and treat income support recipients with compassion and understanding.


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