An announcement of impending changes at the Launceston Centrelink has left labour hire staff feeling uncertain about their future employment.
It's understood Services Australia intends to close the Launceston service centre's compliance risk branch, which has handled so-called robodebt matters.
There are 17 labour hire staff working in compliance at the Boland Street address, while six permanent Australian Public Service employees are understood to be consulting with Services Australia about a change in their roles.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Anxiety has taken hold among the contractors in the service centre, who are fearful that shifting priorities may see the APS staff given new work but not them.
It comes amid uncertainty around the rate of the JobSeeker payment beyond December and concerns over the end of the JobKeeper wage subsidy in March next year.
Tasmanian Labor senator Helen Polley said the federal government needed to be clear about the future of Centrelink jobs.
"With record social security claims I cannot fathom why the government would target regional Tasmania," Senator Polley said. "This is not a jobs plan for Tasmania, this is economic destruction, when our state needs investment in local jobs, not more cuts and uncertainty when there are 20,800 Tasmanians looking for work."
But Services Australia general manager Hank Jongen said there had been no announcement of any job reductions in Launceston.
"Consultations have commenced with a small number of APS staff about a change in roles consistent with adjustments in local priorities," Mr Jongen said. "Labour hire staff continue to be engaged to work in Launceston for Services Australia."
Since the onset of the pandemic in March, $23 billion in additional welfare payments have been distributed.
What do you think? Send us a letter to the editor: