Centrelink move to Woy Woy heralds 'new era' - Wicks
Peninsula residents are "set to benefit from a new era of government service delivery" with the closure of the Centrelink office Ettalong, according to the Member for Robertson Ms Lucy Wicks.
"Services and staff from the Ettalong Service Centre will be consolidated with the Woy Woy Service Centre so that we maintain the highest levels of government services and supports are not diminished for Peninsula residents," she said
The Services Australia service centre in Woy Woy would undergo "a transformation to a new offering, specially tailored to provide state-of-the-art government services".
The Woy Woy Service Centre would be the first location on the east coast "to enjoy such a transformation".
"Woy Woy will provide upgraded self-service facilities and digital support, appointment-based services, and connections to specialist services including tailored assistance for older Australians."
Ms Wicks said "the full suite of new and improved services" would become available from February 15.
The current Ettalong Service Centre will open for the last time this Friday, February 12.
The closure of the Centrelink office in Ettalong was the result of the owner of the building having received council approval to develop the property for other purposes, according a media release issued by Ms Wicks.
"Services Australia has been searching for a suitable alternate property in Ettalong or surrounding suburbs for around two years but no alternative sites were identified.
"Services Australia will be advertising an expression of interest to establish an agent service in Ettalong to continue services to the Ettalong community."
Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch said that shutting down the Ettalong Service Centre would force Centrelink customers to use the already-packed Woy Woy facility.
"Cutting essential services for our community in the middle of a pandemic is disgusting," she said.
"We've got a huge fight on our hands.
"Let's back our seniors and get back our Service Centre."
Media release, 1 Feb 2021
Lucy Wicks, Member for Robertson
Social media, 29 Jan 2021
Liesl Tesch, Member for Gosford