News

'Cheaters, bludgers, leaners': O'Dowd's Centrelink vision

REIN IN: O'Dowd is calling on Centrelink to tighten up.
REIN IN: O'Dowd is calling on Centrelink to tighten up.

LNP MEMBER for Flynn Ken O'Dowd has told parliament that Centrelink should "rein in" the "rorting and the waste" that was embedded during Labor's years of Government.

Mr O'Dowd said one way of making the welfare provider more efficient is by using the benefits of the digital age.

He said for the 56 million phone calls and 21 million face to face visits the new technology would reduce the average waiting time from "11 days to virtually instant".

"(Centrelink) would become more accountable and more efficient to those vulnerable people who need our services, while rorting and the waste so often attributed to those on the other side will be reined in," he said.

Loading...

Loading...

The topic was brought up by the Australian Labor Party member for Barton, Linda Burney, who said the government's mismanagement of Centrelink was hurting Australians.

"Despite the way those opposite talk about it, Centrelink is not just the agency that deals with cheaters, bludgers and leaners," she said.

"It is agency responsible for looking after our welfare safety net."

She quoted a story very similar to one in The Observer, where Centrelink rejected James Stewart's pension after he suffered four heart attacks.

>>Centrelink rejects his pension after four heart attacks: claim

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd.
Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd. Tom Huntley

"Yesterday the Prime Minister was questioned by the member for Bruce, who is in the House, about one constituent receiving the disability support pension who was asked to go through an onerous and expensive review process," Ms Burney said.

"That constituent's disability was so self-evidently debilitation that his specialist wrote to Centrelink managers noting that the review was a total waste of time, and the minister knows this because the minister intervened.

"It was traumatic for the constituent and for his family and, as the minister knows, it was totally unnecessary.

"This is not just a one-off story; it is the story of thousands. Do not look at the floor, those on the opposite side.

"You know these stories in each of your electorates."

She pointed out statistics from late last year showing that of 5000 people taken off the disability support pension only 70 were subsequently able to go back into the workforce.

Mr O'Dowd was one of the members to defend the Government's management of Centrelink.

"For too long, government services have not kept pace," he said.

"There is a $1.9 billion in fraud and overpayments. This is $1.9 billion that we will never receive back.

"Under Labor, waiting times went from three minutes out to 11 minutes; they ballooned out under your control."

Topics:  centrelink gladstone gladstone region



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

$21.7 billion Carmichael coal, rail wins final nod

The Premier will be visiting Townsville to announce 'good news'

Application approved for rail into Abbot Point and temporary camp

Thief ridden with guilt returns stolen cash over fence

Donation tin stolen and returned

Guilty conscience behind theft of business has cash returned

Number of Gladstone FIFO workers nearly halves: report

THE number of non-resident workers halves between 2013-2015

Number of FIFO workers nearly halves: report

Local Partners

Jennifer Lawrence gives keys to new partner

Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence

Oscar winner settling down with new partner

Rogue One star proud to lead new Star Wars film

Felicity Jones leads the new Star Wars film

Star Wars lead proud to be in front in sci-fi

What's on the small screen this week

Ernie Dingo stars in the TV series Going Places with Ernie Dingo.

ERNIE Dingo stars in a new travel series and Seven airs the AACTAs.

Mandy Moore feels like she's 60

Mandy Moore sees herself as a 60-year-old rather than a 32-year-old

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

David Attenborough on facing his mortality

Sir David Attenborough in a scene from the TV special The Death of the Oceans.

Life without Sir David Attenborough is hard to imagine

INSIDE STORY: Disused pipeline stops hundreds from building

TRAIL OF TEARS: Route of the disused Santos oil pipeline which is stopping hundreds of Ipswich residents from building.

THE State must act if Santos won't says Cr Paul Tully.

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Family scoop bargain $160K 'holiday home' in Gladstone

BARGAIN: A Biloela family has purchased 21 Ann St for $160,000. They try to get to Gladstone at least once a month.

ADVERTISED as "renovate or demolish", but snapped up for getaway.

REVEALED: Gladstone property prices hit lowest in downturn

Aerial View overlooking Kin Kora residential area, Gladstone.



Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer

GLADSTONE PROPERTY prices have hit their lowest since the bust.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!