15 October 2021
ALICIA PAYNE MPMEMBER FOR CANBERRAMORRISON GOVERNMENT CONFIRMS IT WILL SHUT BRADDON CENTRELINK
Central Canberra will soon be without a face-to-face Centrelink service after the Morrison Government today confirmed it will close, and not replace, Braddon Centrelink.
Alicia Payne MP, Member for Canberra, has been campaigning to keep the shopfront open after learning it was under threat after seeing a Facebook advertisement for the offices lease in July. Over 1,000 people have signed her petition to maintain a shop front in central Canberra.
In a letter to Ms Payne, Minister for Government Services Linda Reynolds said the Braddon service centre will be merged with the Gungahlin shopfront in December.
Minister Reynolds also confirmed that there would be no replacement service in the Inner North and that existing users will be directed to the Gungahlin branch
“Braddon Centrelink is a vital service for those living in central Canberra and the only shopfront in the entire Canberra electorate,” Ms Payne said.
“I am incredibly disappointed by this decision and the way in which they have gone about making it.”
“There has been zero community consultation around this decision and zero consideration about what this means for users of the Braddon shopfront.”
Ms Payne said it will force vulnerable Canberrans, pensioners, carers, people with disability and students to travel to Belconnen, Woden or Gungahlin to access face-to-face services.
“The JobSeeker payment is so unreasonably low that even the additional costs of public transport will be too much for some people, including those with burdensome mutual obligation requirements,” Ms Payne said.
“While it’s true that many people deal with Centrelink online, Centrelink’s own rules require people to visit a shop front for certain interactions.”
Jobs figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week shows 138,000 Australians lost their jobs in September and there were more Australians out of work than in August.
Ms Payne said it showed how out-of-touch the Morrison Government was.
“A record number of Canberrans needed financial help from Centrelink at the start of the pandemic, and there were long lines of people on Lonsdale Street,” she said.
“With unemployment rising in the last month and the pandemic far from over, it is unbelievable that the Morrison Government would rip away this critical support from Canberrans.
Ms Payne urged Canberrans to keep signing her petition to show the Morrison Government how important this service is for Canberrans.
“I will not be taking this decision lying down. I will continue to fight to save Braddon Centrelink,” the Member for Canberra said.
“My petition is still accepting signatures and I would encourage you to share it with your contacts”.
Ms Payne also encouraged Canberrans to write directly to Minister Reynolds and ACT Liberal Senator Zed Seselja to express their disappointment at this decision.
“Senator Seselja just recently agreed to make inquiries within his own Government on this issue,” she said.
“Either he didn’t, or he couldn’t convince his colleagues.”
The petition can be signed on the Member for Canberra’s website:
FRIDAY, 15 OCTOBER 2021
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Authorised by Alicia Payne, ALP Canberra.