Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Hunter Centrelink customers given phone bill budget buster

┬áMinister for Children and Youth Affairs Larry Anthony today showed Centrelink customers in the Hunter how easy it is to take advantage of Centrelink’s direct-debit service, Centrepay, to pay their Telstra home phone bill.

Mr Anthony said Telstra had recently signed on to Centrepay, which is a free, direct bill paying service for Centrelink customers that provides an easy way to make regular payments to registered service providers.

“It’s certainly a great benefit to Centrelink customers to be able to pay their home phone bill through Centrepay,” Mr Anthony said.

“Through Centrepay, Centrelink customers can opt to pay a minimum of $20 per fortnight off their Telstra bill. That amount will be shown as a deduction when they receive their Telstra bill.

“Potentially, Centrepay can benefit every one of Centrelink’s 6.4 million customers
nation-wide, including over 146,000 customers in the lower Hunter region,” Mr Anthony said.

Acting Telstra Area manager for the region, Clayton McSeveney, said Telstra was the only major telecommunications provider to offer the Centrepay option for its customers.

“We want to give our customers the option of paying their Telstra bills using Centrepay, with automatic regular deductions from their payments from Centrelink. The Centrepay option enables our customers to do this via an electronic payment so people can avoid the need to make manual payments,” he said.

The service is available to anyone receiving a Centrelink payment, including Age or Disability Support Pension, income support payments such as Newstart or Youth Allowance, or Family Tax Benefit.

Centrepay can also be used to pay electricity, water, council rates and many other services, where providers have an agreement with Centrelink. People who wish to use Centrepay can call Centrelink, visit the nearest office or download a Centrepay deduction form from Centrelink website

Telstra has a comprehensive range of options designed in conjunction with peak welfare groups to improve service affordability. Details can be found at Telstra website