Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Beazley replacing jobs, not creating them

Kim Beazley’s Australia Post announcement means jobs will be taken from the rural and regional sector, rather than created, according to Community Services Minister Larry Anthony.

Mr Anthony said that Mr Beazley’s plans would replace Centrelink’s valued work in country Australia, axing jobs where they are most needed.

“Mr Beazley says he will get Australia Post to deliver services already being delivered in rural and regional Australia by Centrelink,” said Mr Anthony. “That means fewer Centrelink jobs delivering much-needed services.

“He talks about a ‘powerful network capable of delivering face-to-face and online services’. It is obvious Mr Beazley is not aware of the services already delivered by the Government through Centrelink.

“I have just completed a regional tour of western Queensland, and witnessed those services in use at remote locations such as Charters Towers, Cloncurry and Mount Isa, which services communities such as Normanton and the Mornington Peninsula.

“Services that deliver via the most modern computer technology face-to-face contact across vast distances – services that give people caught by the tyranny of distance access to Government services, especially during times like these when floods cut vital services to remote communities,” said Mr Anthony.

“Centrelink is always expanding its network of agents and visiting services in rural and remote locations. There is now more than 1,000 locations throughout country Australia where Centrelink customers can do business.

“If Mr Beazley looked at the good things we are doing, rather than run down the Government’s work in regional and rural Australia, he would realise that Centrelink already provides the services he is talking about.”