Service NSW boosts staff to tackle business grants backlog

Member for Wollongong Paul Scully has been forced to intervene several times over the last month for Wollongong businesses who have been patiently waiting for Service NSW to answer questions or acknowledge that applications for financial assistance have been received since the first round of support was announced over 35-days ago.

“Service NSW staff are under tremendous pressure and the Government has let them down by not providing the additional staff resources needed to support distressed business owners and operators when these grants programs were first announced.

“Business owners have been waiting for over 4 hours to have a call answered and then the phone just cuts off inexplicably.

“The boost to staff resources within Service NSW to cut through the enormous backlog of applications is welcome and should mean financial assistance for businesses in Wollongong should move more smoothly from now on.

“The Premier, Treasurer and other ministers could not continue to stand up at daily press conferences and direct people to contact Service NSW for help knowing that the staff are too busy to answer the phone, acknowledge receipt of applications or tell people how their applications are progressing.

“This is just basic customer service and the Government was failing big time.

“Businesses in the Wollongong area need some certainty during this difficult time.

“If the businesses asking for help provided the same customer service that the Government has offered over the last month, they’d be shutting their doors for good”, he said.

Mr Scully had written to the Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello requesting an urgent injection of more staff resources into Service NSW.

He has also called for the Dine and Discover voucher scheme to be extended until at least October 2021, or the end of the year to help hospitality businesses recover from the lockdown. Vouchers currently expire on 31 August 2021, a matter of days after this current lockdown is supposed to end.

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