on air now

Social Services Minister’s message to the thousands queued outside Centrelink offices

3AW Mornings

Enormous queues have formed outside Centrelink offices across the country for the second day today, as the financial impact of coronavirus stretches Australians to breaking point.

There are reports some people even took to sleeping outside Centrelink offices last night to ensure they would be seen by staff today.

It comes after the myGov website crashed due to overwhelming demand yesterday, as almost 100,000 Australians simultaneously tried to access welfare payment services online.

Minister for Social Services, Anne Ruston, urged Australians not to queue outside Centrelink centres.

“If you possibly can, go home, get online, get on the phone and try and do your application,” she told 3AW’s Tony Jones, filling in for Neil Mitchell.

“I understand with the amount of demand we’ve had on myGov and on our phone services people have had to wait and the website has been tremendously slow, and that’s probably going to be the case for a little while.

“We hope to see increased speeds today but there is a huge demand.”

Centrelink has put on an additional 5000 staff to meet the unprecedented demand for welfare services.

Ms Ruston reminded anyone who already receives a welfare payment that they do not need to do anything to be eligible for the additional financial support included in the federal government’s coronavirus stimulus packages.

Press PLAY below for more.

3AW Mornings