Medicare and Centrelink signs in Melbourne, Saturday, June, 25, 2016.  (AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy) NO ARCHIVING
Medicare and Centrelink signs in Melbourne, Saturday, June, 25, 2016. (AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy) NO ARCHIVING TRACEY NEARMY

Why all is quiet around Centrelink this week

IPSWICH Centrelink and Medicare customers are feeling the impact of industrial action combined with annual staff holidays.

Years of failed negotiations under the Federal Government's public service pay policy have culminated in strikes in between Christmas and New Year.

Ipswich residents this week complained to the QT, saying they were unable to access Medicare staff this week.

The Federal Government is urging customers of Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support to use online and self-service options to check their reporting obligations and payments.

All service centres and most phone lines providing Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support services were closed this Monday to Wednesday, and will be closed again next Monday.

Customers were warned that in addition to the closures, services may also be affected by industrial action Thursday and Friday this week.

Department of Human Services general manager Hank Jongen has urged people to use self-service apps or delay non-urgent matters.

"We're asking customers to defer any non-urgent business or use the self-service options available through myGov and the Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support mobile apps," he said.

"Our priority is to help those in the greatest need and with urgent enquiries. People who need to speak to us can phone, they just need to know this may take longer due to the industrial action."

Information on holiday period reporting and payment dates is available at humanservices.gov.au/holidays.



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