The Shire is extremely concerned about the community impact of the proposed closure of Centrelink Mornington. The people who need access to this important local essential service are some of our more vulnerable and disadvantaged community members who may not be able or comfortable to access online services. Many are non-drivers who will have to struggle with inadequate public transport to travel significant distances to Frankston or Rosebud on a regular basis to get the support they need.
The Mornington Peninsula has:
- a much higher older population than Greater Melbourne and the State average
- more people with a disability
- more unemployed young people
- more people without an internet connection.
In the catchment area of Centrelink Mornington we estimate the impact may be felt by as many as:
- 3,000 low income households
- 11,000 older people
- 800 unemployed people
- 1,700 single parent families
- 12,000 people with a disability (including 3,731 with disability parking permits and 1,170 NDIS participants).
The Shire was not advised or consulted on this matter, nor was the local community, and the intended closure date of 23 March 2020 gives very little time for service users to make other arrangements.
There are also concerns that increased foot traffic at other Centrelink sites will increase congestion and queue waiting times for community members across the Peninsula.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Councillor Sam Hearn said: “This is a terrible outcome for our community. The Shire calls on Minister Roberts to reconsider this action, which will have devastating impacts for so many vulnerable and disadvantaged people. We will continue to advocate for the Federal Government to do the right thing and provide reasonable access for our community to this critically important essential local service.”
“We’ve been advocating for more core service for quite some time, so this comes as a real kick in the guts.”