FORTY full-time Department of Human Services jobs have been promised for Bendigo if the Labor party wins the federal election.
Shadow Minister for Human Services Ed Husic visited Bendigo on Thursday to announce the pledge and was joined by Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters outside of the Lyttleton Terrace Centrelink office in Bendigo.
“Forty new jobs will be created in Bendigo to help deliver better service through Centrelink and Medicare,” Mr Husic said.
“This is better service in the aftermath of job cuts and complaints.”
An announcement of new jobs for Bendigo is part of a broader plan by the Labor party to invest in 1200 Department of Human Services jobs targeted at regional and outer metropolitan areas.
Ms Chesters welcomed the announcement, which supports local jobs and will help residents get the support they need.
“We have had countless years of people making complaints about waiting times and processing times,” Ms Chesters said.
Mr Husic stressed the importance of getting the right people in the right positions with adequate training.
“We need to see an investment in those jobs where people are properly trained on the types of complex issues that people approach Centrelink and Medicare about,” Mr Husic said.
Where the 40 new employees would work is a point of conjecture, with Ms Chester remarking they would most likely be spread across an existing Department of Human Services’ buildings and the new GovHub.
“This is a challenge for us. Behind the Centrelink building there is a DHS smart centre. Most of the people who work for DHS are in that building. Talking to the workforce there, there will be some constraints,” Ms Chesters said.
“If Labor gets elected, if we can deliver on this promise, then space can be a really easy solution for us because just across the road the council and state government are building GovHub.”
– NICHOLAS NAKOS