Centrelink needs permanent staff, not labour hire

Federal Labor Member for Lyons Brian Mitchell has challenged the Prime Minister to “stop the rot” and commit to increased permanent staff numbers at Centrelink.

The MP’s call follows revelations labour hire companies are providing 200 new staff for Centrelink, including in Tasmania.

“Centrelink is getting busier and busier and desperately needs more staff in order to service pensioners and other Australians seeking income support,” Mr Mitchell said.

“But Scott Morrison’s unhealthy obsession with privatisation and diminishing public sector services means he is incapable of making the right decision.

“He would rather waste taxpayers’ dollars on expensive labour hire firms than employ more permanent Centrelink staff, despite the need for them.”

Mr Mitchell also renewed his call for Centrelink, as well as My Aged Care, Medicare, NDIS and other federal agencies, to deploy more staff to key regional centres.

“All of these new jobs will be based in Hobart, but there’s a lot more to Tasmania than Hobart,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Over the years we have seen our regional centres hollowed out, with the loss of banks and key government services. It is time to right those wrongs and bring these jobs and these services back to our regional centres."