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Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Delivering welfare reform

The Government will look at Centrelink’s role as part of the broad approach taken by the Welfare Reform Reference Group in its final report, Minister for Community Services Larry Anthony announced today.

“My focus will be on how the Government can better deliver services through Centrelink in line with the report’s recommendations,” said Mr Anthony.

“This report provides the basis for long term reform aimed at reducing social and economic disadvantage over time and increased social participation dependent on people’s individual capabilities.

“This report is not about privatising Centrelink, rather, it has highlighted that a central gateway is needed to deliver the best service to all Australians.”

Mr Anthony said the final report includes recommendations of great benefit to Australians living in rural and regional areas.

“I personally support the report’s recommendations on tailoring services to the needs of people in country areas, rather than the Labor Party’s formal, inflexible approach,” said Mr Anthony.

“This Government takes flexibility of service seriously, getting away from the one-size-fits-all bureaucratic approach that was even promoted at the Labor Party’s recent conference.

“We have already introduced more flexible services for people in rural and regional areas, using modern technology such as video conference to break the hardship caused by distance,” said Mr Anthony.

Mr Anthony said the Government has already achieved positive results changing the nature of service delivery to Centrelink, and will build on these results.

“There are opportunities for Centrelink as the gateway to the new welfare system – creating a more responsive social security system friendly to the needs of all Australians,” said Mr Anthony.