O’Brien calls for better public service

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien has called on the Andrews Labor Government to do better to ensure that Victorian public service departments are meeting the needs of Victorians.

Speaking in Parliament recently, Mr O’Brien said that despite Victorian public service numbers having risen around 60 per cent since the Andrews Labor Government came to office, it was evident that there is a clear lack of front-facing service available.

“Based on complaints to my office the frontline service of many government agencies has been terrible, some of it the under the cover of COVID, but not getting much better in recent months,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria has been one of the worst offenders, with constituents struggling to get hold of BDM for birth and death certificate inquiries. It took one Gippsland family in my electorate eight months to register a baby born outside the hospital system.

“Right now the BDM customer service centre – it seems like an oxymoron in the circumstances – is still closed.

“In recent months I have had constituents with similar problems contacting anyone at Aboriginal Housing Victoria and the Working With Children Check hotline, and we have seen reductions in office opening hours at Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action offices.”

Mr O’Brien said he was aware that the Working with Children’s Call Centre has recently been tasked with NDIS worker screening checks and that this was placing unprecedented demand on the hotline.

“There is a real push for everything to be online, but there are many times when you just need to speak to a human being.

“I call on the government to urgently put the ‘service’ back into public service.”

Stay up-to-date

Subscribe to Danny’s regular newsletter to stay informed about issues relating to Gippsland South.