House debates

Monday, 7 December 2020

Statements by Members


4:11 pm

Photo of Peta MurphyPeta Murphy (Dunkley, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Rob lives in my electorate in Langwarrin. His father-in-law, Fred, is almost 94. Recently Fred's wife passed away, and Fred needed to go to Centrelink to sort out the pensions. Fred doesn't know how to use the computer and he gets flustered over the phone, so his only choice was to go and attend at Rosebud Centrelink. He had to wait 90 minutes in a queue, 94-year-old Fred. No-one offered him a seat. And when he got to the front of the queue, he was told: 'Sorry, you've got the wrong paperwork. You'll need to come back another day.' Later that day he had a fall and was taken to the hospital, and his family are sure that that is linked to him exerting himself by standing for 90 minutes. He was at the hospital for eight hours before being discharged and later having more treatment.

Rob's question for the government is: surely Centrelink could be properly funded with more staff to have better care for the elderly? Surely there could be better processes in place? My question for the minister is: how can you continue to push ahead with the closure of Mornington Centrelink, a mere 19-minute drive from Rosebud, on the spurious claim that there isn't enough demand for face-to-face services? It's not about computer predictions. It's not about austerity and saving money. It's about people and their lives, Minister. Please don't shut Mornington Centrelink. And get more staff into Centrelink to look after the people who need it.