While glad government has finally recognised that the call wait time is outrageous and is putting more staff on, it is very disappointing that these will be contract staff, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
"Using a private company to reduce Centrelink call wait times holds serious privacy concerns, and staff should be hired within the public sector.
“It is nonsensical to use a private company when there are casual staff in the Department who could be made permanent to help reduce call wait times. The private information of Australians accessing the social safety net is at risk in the hands of a private company.
“The Government said in estimates that they were hiring 1000 more contract staff to work in compliance, now apparently more are being hired to work in call centres - critical services for those on income support are being outsourced.
“I will be following up whether this matter in forthcoming estimates.
“The Government needs to be strengthening our social safety net by increasing Newstart and stopping its punitive approach to delivering income support. The system needs an overhaul".