Mobile service centres go the distance
Sweeping plains, bushfires, droughts and flooding rains – the Department of Human Services’ two Mobile Service Centres have seen it all as they have traversed rural and regional Australia.
Minister for Human Services Senator the Hon Marise Payne said the Mobile Service Centres, known as ‘Desert Pea’ and ‘Kangaroo Paw’, have almost travelled a combined total of 300,000 kilometres across the country.
“After a well-earned festive season break, the centres are back on the road travelling to communities which may not have easy access to government services,” Minister Payne said.
“Today, I visited ‘Desert Pea’ staff during their stop in Esk to wish them well as they kick off their first trip of 2014. Over the next three months, the centres will visit regional and rural communities in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia.
“Since 2009 the purpose-built Mobile Service Centres have visited over 1400 communities and helped more than 50,000 people access vital Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support and Australian Hearing information, payments and services.”
Minister Payne said thanks to advances in rural servicing technology, each Mobile Service Centre is equipped with the same technology available in any other Centrelink or Medicare service centre.
“Services are tailored to the individual needs of each town and often the centres partner with other community service providers, local and state government services, to offer communities access to more essential services in one place,” Minister Payne said.
“The centres also achieved TruckSafe Accreditation, making the department the first Australian Government agency to receive the trucking industry-wide recognised safety accreditation.”
Minister Payne said the Mobile Service Centres are extremely versatile and designed to provide special assistance at short notice in times of emergency.
“When Australians have experienced severe natural disasters and emergencies in the last four years, the Mobile Service Centres have offered on-the-ground support for disaster recovery efforts,” Minister Payne said.
“I saw this first-hand during the Blue Mountains bushfires in October, when the centre was diverted directly to affected communities within 12 hours of the activation of emergency assistance, to help people access disaster assistance payments.”
For more information about the Australian Government Mobile Service Centre and trip schedules for 2014, go to humanservices.gov.au or call 13 2316.
Keep up to date with the latest payments and services information by ‘liking’ the Department of Human Services Facebook account or following @HumanServicesAU on Twitter.