100 JOBS: Labor to promise Gladstone CBD boost
IN A bid to help revive the city centre, Labor is today expected to promise to create 100 full-time Department of Human Services jobs in Gladstone.
The Opposition hopes by establishing a DHS office in Gladstone it will give the region an economic boost via secure, government employment.
Labor's candidate for Flynn, Zac Beers, said the move would inject $7.2 million of new economic activity each year.
The jobs would include local service delivery and call centre roles.
"Having government jobs based here means the further diversification of Gladstone's economy," Mr Beers said.
"These 100 new secure permanent jobs will also help breathe new life into Gladstone's city centre."
It's understood the Federal Government currently outsources this work.
Mr Beers said the move would also help reduce waiting times for those making Centrelink or Medicare inquiries.
"These jobs will improve access to Medicare and Centrelink and reduce waiting and processing times for older Australians," he said.
"Income support is complex and that's why it is important there are properly trained and permanent staff who are familiar with the kinds of complex circumstances that are facing income support recipients.
"There are over 13,600 recipients of the Age Pension in Central Queensland who have faced lengthy phone wait times to Centrelink as well as lengthy wait times for their pensions to be approved.
"There are also over 10,000 recipients of the Family Tax Benefit, over 5000 recipients of the Disability Support Pension and over 4000 recipients of the Carer Allowance - all will benefit from the increased support as a result of these jobs."
Mr Beers said it would help make Gladstone a hub for federal government service delivery and administration.
Opposition spokesman for human services Ed Husic said it was an investment "in better jobs and better services" for the region.
"Apart from the fact these 100 jobs will provide a welcome economic boost, these full-time, well-trained, permanent positions will be there to help Queenslanders when they need it most," he said.
Mr Husic is expected to join Mr Beers today to officially make the announcement.