Centrelink tsunami as lockdown ‘turns lives upside down’

 

LINES are stretching for more than a block around one of the Gold Coast's biggest Centrelink offices.

Hundreds of people, many wearing protective face masks arrived at the Centrelink long before opening, with the queue stretching down a block and around a corner.

 

Will Mcalpin, 22, and Carla Christou, 20, from Labrador line up outside Southport Centrelink after losing their jobs. Picture: Adam Head
Will Mcalpin, 22, and Carla Christou, 20, from Labrador line up outside Southport Centrelink after losing their jobs. Picture: Adam Head

Progress was painfully slow, with the line barely seeming to move as staff inside struggled to keep pace with the crowd of anxious people.

Hospitality workers Will McAlpin, 22, and girlfriend Carla Christou, 20, of Labrador, were hopeful of getting assistance from Centrelink after their lives were turned upside down by the tough new trading restrictions.

Officials from Centrelink speak to the lines of people waiting at Southport Centrelink. Picture: Adam Head
Officials from Centrelink speak to the lines of people waiting at Southport Centrelink. Picture: Adam Head

Mr McAlpin said he had seen the writing on the wall over the past few days but it 'doesn't make it any easier'.

"I didn't think it would happen quite so quickly," he said.

" We don't really know what the go is so it's a pretty stressful time.

"Hopefully Centrelink can help do anything to keep a roof over our heads."

 

 

Originally published as Centrelink tsunami as lockdown 'turns lives upside down'

The line was barely moving this morning as Centrelink staff struggled to keep up with demand. Picture: Adam Head
The line was barely moving this morning as Centrelink staff struggled to keep up with demand. Picture: Adam Head
Many people are facing a time of stress as thousands of jobs are lost to the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Adam Head
Many people are facing a time of stress as thousands of jobs are lost to the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Adam Head