Speeches in Parliament
Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (16:24): Everyone in the house would know the diverse range of inquiries and questions we as members of parliament get at our electorate offices. But, during the last two years, some of the biggest complaints to my electorate office have been in two particular areas, unfortunately. The first is problems with the NBN. I will go into that another time. The second is complaints about the dwindling customer service from Centrelink. We know that, while the government has been focused on corporate tax cuts to the big banks and other multinational companies, they've chipped away at Australia's safety net for those on income support, those on pensions, those who deserve support from government. One of the biggest complaints that I get in my electorate is that they cannot even get through to Centrelink. They need to ring my electorate office to try and cut through and get through to Centrelink. That is simply not good enough. We know that experienced front-line Centrelink staff are getting the chop, with their positions being outsourced to labour hire companies. This is having an impact on desperate people who need support and need an answer.