SOAP BOX: Show some respect Centrelink

CENTRELINK is failing our pensioners, seniors and disabled and this has nothing to do with pay rates.

It has to do with the fact the elderly, who probably hate computers more than any generation, are afforded no dignity or respect when it comes to enquiring about their entitlements.

This was brought to my attention while doing a street poll this week.

I asked Ronaldo Lozana what he thought a key issue was that would help him decide who to vote for in the Federal Election.

Next to jobs, he mentioned having a priority queue at Centrelink for pensioners.

Mr Lozana said he regularly went past the Centrelink office and saw the elderly waiting in the same long queue as the young and jobless.

He got me thinking how true this has been in my own mum's dealings with the government agency designed to help.

She hates computers. I reckon she would learn French quicker than she would learn how to master creating an online profile.

Yet Human Services first priority is to get people to go online for help.

This means she either spends a good 40 minutes on hold on the telephone or she waits in a long queue at a Centrelink office.

To the staff at Centrelink's credit, they are wonderful to her when she gets to see them.

But why can't there be some kind of priority queueing process for those who genuinely deserve it, identified by a pin code given to seniors, disabled and the deserving only?

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