The union representing the public sector including Centrelink workers, the CPSU, is calling on the government to come clean on what the future of face-to-face Centrelink services will be.

On Friday, without any consultation, Services Australia staff were told that the Braddon Service Centre in Canberra would be closed on 3 December 2021 with no replacement office to be opened.

This closure leaves a part of Canberra with a high number of very vulnerable individuals without access to face-to-face services. CPSU members working in this service centre are especially concerned about a large number of homeless people in the city that will be left without access to a service centre.

Australia has seen the demand for these services surge during this pandemic. And in the economic wake of COVID-19 the availability and access of these services will be critical. Not all clients can access online services and it is essential that the government does not leave parts of our community behind.

Alistair Waters, CPSU National President said, “The CPSU is deeply disappointed by Services Australia’s decision to close the Braddon site, especially without prior consultation.

“Minister Reynolds is seriously out of touch if they think online tools are accessible to everyone. The Braddon Centre provides face-to-face services for significant numbers of the most vulnerable members of our community, many of whom have higher levels of difficulty accessing alternative channels.”

“Under the Morrison Government there has been a worrying trend of shop front closures leading to a reduction or removal of face-to-face services in communities. The CPSU supports the local members’ petition to ensure face-to-face services are available for all of our community.”

“The Morrison Government has a responsibility to the Australian community to ensure all communities have access to the essential services they deserve.”