Chesters slams Government's cuts to Services Australia

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters has slammed the Morrison Government for announcing 2,719 job cuts to Services Australia in the recent Federal Budget.

“It’s outrageous the frontline safety net of Services Australia, the people who help our community in fire, flood and through the pandemic, is being slashed by almost 3,000 workers,” Chesters said.

"These cuts will lead to increased waiting times and deteriorating support for a broad section of the Bendigo and Central Victorian community.

“Everyone from pensioners to parents receiving childcare payments to students on youth allowance will be affected by these job cuts.”

The agency’s budget for 2022-23 will be $4.6 billion, down from $5.3 billion last year.

The great Australian safety net of social security is the envy of the world and was a key factor in our nation’s response to the COVID pandemic.

After all the challenges and sacrifices made during the pandemic, floods and bushfires, Australians need and deserve better.

"Local people who work at Services Australia losing their jobs is the most obvious and immediate impact of this decision. These workers and their families now face an uncertain future,” Chesters said.

“It is not acceptable that thousands of people living in the Bendigo region who rely on Centrelink payments to survive are being forced to use an overstretched and under-funded service."

“Over the last few weeks my office has received a number of reports of delays with Services Australia payments because they are short staffed following the floods in Queensland and New South Wales,” Chesters said.

“Services Australia needs more staff and resources, not less,” Chesters said.