Tuesday marks Day 2 of the nation’s Centrelink chaos. Just like on Monday, hundreds of thousands of Aussies once again formed lines outside Centrelink offices around the country. However this time, the lines formed before the crack of dawn.
Service centres in every major city have again been swamped, with some queues forming as early as 4:30 AM.
The government has encouraged people to use the MyGov website or Centrelink call centre instead of visiting in person. However, MyGov has been so overwhelmed by users that it no longer functions, while those calling by phone have reported unbearable waiting times during business hours.
— NUKS(NOOKS) (@Pnuks) March 23, 2020
Hundreds of thousands of these clients have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. In some cases, bans on indoor gatherings have forced businesses to shut down while in other cases, social distancing and self-isolation has stopped the flow of customers to businesses.
In the past, first-time applicants needed to visit Centrelink in person in order to obtain a customer reference umber (CRN).
As of this week, this has been scrapped. Potential applicants can now lodge their intent to claim online, and then provide the necessary documents at a later day. Their payments will be processed in the meantime and backpaid to today.
Many more Aussies shared photos and footage of the queues in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and beyond on social media.
— Paul Dowsley (@pauldowsley7) March 23, 2020
— Wendy Carlisle (@Wendycarlisle) March 24, 2020
— David Janetzki MP (@DavidJanetzkiMP) March 24, 2020
Centrelink in Joondalup just now pic.twitter.com/vxaD59XJJl
— Boyd (@Boyd66046352) March 24, 2020
This is Centrelink at Sutherland NSW this morning. 1 person here infected, will mean 404 people in 30 days. No protection masks, gloves, hand sanitiser on the street, temperatures being taken, just pile them in a room so they can infect the community. There is a better way. pic.twitter.com/88CfQwb7ie
— Ryan Talbot (@ryball2000) March 24, 2020
At Centrelink right now Hervey Bay. This absolute LEGEND, James, a stranger to all of us went to Coles bought bottled water & handed them out to all of us. He came back TWICE. Not a Centrelink worker, just a guy feeling sorry for us all. Aussie spirit???? pic.twitter.com/wmxHXn9iIR
— Fantastic Fiona (@FantasticFiona1) March 24, 2020
— Myles Houlbrook-Walk (@MylesWalk) March 23, 2020
Image: AAP / Joel Carrett
Centrelink at Eastgardens. Never ever seen the likes of this. People waiting around everywhere to get assistance. 1930's Depression era scenes. pic.twitter.com/yckxDgdWYt
— ????????????@????????????????:~$ (@boypage) March 24, 2020