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Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

entrelink provides 24-hour help for Bali Disaster victims

Centrelink has extended the operating hours of its Bali Disaster hotline to 24 hour per day to ensure victims and their families get speedy access to any payments or services they may be eligible to receive.

Two special hotlines are being answered around the clock, seven days per week, to cater for people both in Australia and Indonesia. The numbers are 13 6125 for people calling within Australia and International Freecall 001 803 61 383 for people calling from Indonesia.

I encourage people affected by the tragedy to contact Centrelink at the earliest opportunity to register for the support measures that are designed to help families during this extremely difficult period.

Assistance with travel and accommodation is available to help reunite hospitalised victims of the Bali explosion with their families. Similarly, travel and accommodation assistance is available for people who need to travel to and from Bali for purposes associated with the Bali bomb blasts.

Anyone who was injured, or who lost someone and is in need of financial support, or is caring for someone who was affected by the disaster and are experiencing financial hardship, should contact Centrelink.

Every effort has been made to streamline access to payments for victims of the Bali Disaster and their families who are able to establish their eligibility. If people are not eligible or not able to immediately establish their eligibility for mainstream payments they may qualify for special benefit until their circumstances are resolved.

This is an extremely stressful period for victims and their families. Centrelink has skilled staff and counselling services available to help people through this difficult time. Callers to Centrelink’s hotline can be connected to a social worker or referred to a counselling service to help them deal with the trauma they are suffering as a result of the disaster.

Centrelink staff can also register people who are eligible for payments as soon as they phone. Advice, claim forms and the latest information can also be accessed at www.centrelink.gov.au.