It is outrageous that the Government will be staffing Centrelink call centres with private contractors, Australian Greens spokesperson on Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
“While it seems that the Government is finally admitting that staffing of Centrelink call centres is inadequate, it is beyond comprehension that they would seek to ameliorate this problem through employing private contractors.
“We saw how that worked out when they contracted private debt collectors.
“We should have Government employees who are trained to handle sensitive information and help vulnerable people to access the services they need.
“The Government cut 1200 jobs from the Department of Human Services and their solution to the 42 million calls that went unanswered last year is 250 contractors?
“The public and those accessing income support are losing more and more confidence in the system and this decision is yet another blow to our already depleted social safety net.
“The Government must act on the recommendations of the Senate Committee report into robo-debt as soon as possible."