The ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) today expressed its deep concern following the Australian Government’s announcement that the Braddon Services Australia Service Centre will be closed and merged into Gungahlin and Belconnen Service Centres.
The current Braddon Service Centre at 13 Lonsdale Street will end services on Friday 3 December 2021.
ACTCOSS CEO, Dr Campbell said: “The final decision to close the Braddon Service Centre has been taken without any meaningful consultation with the ACT community sector, organisations representing vulnerable communities or current clients of the Braddon location.
“Many vulnerable Canberrans, including older people and people with disability, cannot access or easily navigate online services and need direct assistance. Long waits on the telephone often result in people being told to go to a service centre.
“The closure of this location means there is now one less location accessible for the tens of thousands of Canberrans who receive income support or who require face to face assistance with Medicare claims and inquiries.
“The Braddon location is also close to other supports and services used by highly vulnerable Canberrans. Now, people on the lowest incomes will have to travel further and spend money on transport that might otherwise go towards food, clothing and shelter.
“ACTCOSS has written to our local government representative Senator the Hon Zed Seselja and the Minister for Human Services, the Hon Stuart Robert MP to ask them to reconsider this decision that will hurt Canberra’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable people.”
ACTCOSS advocates for social justice in the ACT and represents not-for-profit community organisations.