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Essential Centrelink services to be unavailable this weekend

·Personal Finance Editor
·2-min read
Australians line up outside a Centrelink office.
Centrelink essential services will be unavailable this weekend. (Source: Getty)

Centrelink recipients will not be able to access their online account, phone self service or the Express Plus mobile app this weekend.

Services Australia said it would be conducting scheduled maintenance on Saturday, August 20, from 12:00am to 10:00pm AEST.

Services Australia said other services may also be impacted by the outage including account linking for Centrelink through myGov and the document verification system for Centrelink Concession Cards.

“If possible, we’d recommend you complete any Centrelink updates before Saturday’s scheduled maintenance,” Services Australia said.

“This includes things like submitting a claim or uploading documents.”

Centrelink inquiry

A parliamentary inquiry into Australian welfare services is currently underway.

The Albanese Government is being called on to abolish all forms of compulsory income management for people on Centrelink and welfare payments.

NT Council of Social Services (NTCOSS) slammed the system as belittling, impenetrably complicated and in need of reform.

The debit cards were introduced by the Liberal-National Coalition in 2016 and set up in several communities, including Ceduna in South Australia and Cape York in Far North Queensland.

Under the scheme, up to 80 per cent of a person's welfare payment was added to a card and the funds could not be withdrawn for cash or spent on gambling or alcohol.

The Albanese Government's proposal would shift more than 17,000 welfare recipients away from the scheme.

However, despite pushback from many, a leading Indigenous think tank said models of income management had been successful in some remote communities.

The Cape York Institute urged the committee not to apply a blanket approach but rather allow communities to decide on a model for themselves.

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