3,000 staffing boost for Services Australia

The Albanese Labor Government is putting people back at the centre of government services, with thousands of new jobs created to improve Centrelink and Medicare services.

Over the past decade, the former Liberal government decimated Services Australia’s frontline to make way for malicious, profit making programs like Robodebt, where people were an afterthought.

Labor is making an immediate $228 million funding injection to frontline and service delivery staffing at the agency this financial year.

The 3,000 new recruits will work in smart centres in capital cities and regional centres, including Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour in NSW, Toowoomba and Maryborough in Queensland, and Ballarat and LaTrobe Valley in Victoria. The recruitment has started, with more than 800 people already accepting jobs and starting the onboarding process.

One of the key recommendations of the Royal Commission into Robodebt outlined that the Government should facilitate “easy and efficient engagement options of online, in person and telephone communication which is sensitive to the particular circumstances of the customer cohort”.

It is only by funding the return of humans to government services, to have a people-centred approach and get away from the robo-systems beloved by the last Liberal government, that we can ensure Robodebt never happens again.

This comes as Services Australia has fewer public servants per capita than at any other time, as a result of the former Liberal government gutting 3,800 staff at the agency.

As at 6 November 2023.