Strong opposition to Medicare relocating to East St Centrelink

LIMITED parking and access issues at the East St Centrelink office are behind strong opposition to Medicare relocating to the site.

Medicare confirmed last week it was closing its Riverlink shopfront on November 17 and relocating to the Centrelink building.

Member for Blair Shayne Neumann said he met with Medicare's area manager to request the combined shopfront be relocated to the Ipswich Mall or Riverlink once Centrelink's East St lease was up.

"I'm fine with a combined Medicare and Centrelink shopfront but (East St) is a terrible location. Connection to public transport is very poor, car parking outside the building is metered and parking under the building is limited and the location is up a hill which is not conducive to the aged, illness or infirmity," Mr Neumann said.

"Moving Medicare into East St exacerbates the problems and exaggerates the difficulties."

Department of Human Services general manager Hank Jongen said parking and accessibility were taken into consideration before the creation of a one-stop shop.

"The Ipswich one-stop shop has parking available underneath the building and two disabled access parking spots out the front," he said. "There is paid parking available in surrounding streets, a short walk from the one-stop shop.

"There are public transport options nearby, including a bus stop out the front and train station down the road."

The QT's Facebook page attracted more than 100 comments on the story, most citing parking and access as issues.

Inner city councillor Andrew Antoniolli said limited parking was an issue and the Federal Government was more concerned with pushing customers online.

"This is exactly what the government want; inconvenience," he said. "They are pushing everyone online but sadly not all doctors and specialists operate an online billing system. So some will still need to go to Medicare."



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