Centrelink expo deserves credit

CENTRELINK often cops a bagging in the community, but you’ve got to give the organisation credit for staging the jobs expo in Lismore this week.

The expo aims to put employers in direct contact with potential employees.

Anything that cuts through the formal process of applying for jobs and makes it a little easier has got to be a good thing.

Having worked in Centrelink’s Canberra media office for a few months, I became aware of some of the other good things they’ve done.

Much of this work has either gone unnoticed or remains unappreciated.

Centrelink counsellors provided pivotal support to some of the Bali bombing victims and their families.

Whenever a reasonable-sized business goes bust they have a flying team which can visit the site and advise workers about their entitlements.

A Centrelink worker in South Australia provided pivotal evidence that led to the convictions of the Snowtown ‘bodies in the barrels’ murderers.

Most of the complaints about Centrelink relate to non-payment or under-payment of entitlements.

But you could give such a large organisation a small margin for error.

After all, it has 6.84 million customers to deal with, grants 2.7 million new claims each year, pays 10.43 million individual entitlements, records six billion electronic customer transactions each year and receives 33.7 million telephone calls.

It also employs 27,000 people, many of whom live among us on the Northern Rivers.

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