MyGov website crashes, huge queues outside Centrelink offices as coronavirus shutdown deadline passes in some states

| 23.03,20. 11:55 AM |

MyGov website crashes, huge queues outside Centrelink offices as coronavirus shutdown deadline passes in some states



PHOTO: Centrelink offices have seen huge queues. (ABC News: Julia Feder)

The MyGov website has crashed as Australians try to access government services like Centrelink online.

Yesterday Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the Government was ordering non-essential business including pubs and gyms to close by midday in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The Government is also doubling dole payments as it seeks to cushion the economy from the devastating impact of the pandemic.

"There is unprecedented demand for the service right now, but Australians need to be patient. Try logging on later today or even tomorrow," Minister for Government Services Stuart Robert said.

"MyGov is working, but the best option right now is for people to be patient."

In a statement, Centrelink confirmed it was experiencing "very high demand across all services" and urged people not to come into centres unless there was a "critical need" to be there.

Centrelink said new claims could be started online and if proof of ID was required, it could be provided over the phone if someone was in self-isolation.

However, people are being encouraged to defer their applications until later "if you can."

Gym worker Medhi Bachkat said he was trying to stay positive despite waiting for hours outside Centrelink at Surry Hills in Sydney this morning.

"I've gone from having an income to having no income in the last two weeks," he said.

"We still have to pay for our rent and our lifestyle, so I don't know what's going on"

"I'm not trying to be stressed or anything, but no-one's smiling or happy. Everyone's grumpy."

Cherie Grant, 26, and Rhiannon Stella, 21, both lost their hospitality jobs last night.

They arrived at Centrelink in Victoria Park in Perth an hour and a half before it opened.

"We don't have any second form of income so this is what we have to do," Ms Grant told the ABC.

Opposition frontbencher Bill Shorten said the unprecedented demand was "entirely foreseeable" and said Mr Robert must do better.

"He must ensure Centrelink services — online and in person — are working now when Australians need them most."

The Government's latest $66 billion stimulus package includes help for casual workers, sole traders, and small businesses.

Some asset tests for welfare payments are being waived.

Small businesses can apply for grants of up to $10,000, and the Jobseeker Payment is being doubled.

Taking into account the first round of stimulus measures, and those announced by the Reserve Bank this week, the total economic assistance package is now worth $189 billion, according to the Government.

That is equivalent to 9.7 per cent of Australia's gross domestic product.

ABC/AAP


(Votes: 0)

Other News

AFIC :RE.. Far-Right Terrorism Two injured after plane crashes in bushland in NSW Immediate virus test kit needs met: PM NSW, Victoria, ACT move to comprehensive shutdown of non-essential services amid coronavirus pandemic A Queensland school has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitised after an after-school worker tested positive to coronavirus Police have the power to enforce coronavirus rules — in public and in your own home Four cruise ships given special permission to dock in Australia despite 30-day coronavirus ban Federal Government's second stimulus package offers $66 billion worth of measures for coronavirus-hit economy Australia Post remains open, limits human contact Govt implements tougher restrictions for indoor venues Labor calls for increased coronavirus testing Australia's borders could be closed for six months Australian COVID-19 cases rise above 870 NAB allows personal home loan customers to defer repayments for six months 'Keep your distance': Health Minister's warning to beach lovers after coronavirus advice ignored at Bondi Most Australian coronavirus cases coming from USA: Scott Morrison Thief steals jacket from Melbourne firefighters only to require rescuing Six-month loan repayment deferrals for small businesses amid coronavirus crisis Coronavirus fatalities rise in Australia after 81yo woman dies in Sydney SA Police conduct virus 'spot checks' on infected Motorcyclist killed in Adelaide crash Number of new coronavirus infections in NSW decreases as Premier praises people for following warnings Call to release 'at risk' NSW prisoners وثيقة سرية من 100 صفحة تثير هلع الأمريكان من فيروس كورونا Purchase limit on pharmacy goods to be introduced to combat panic-buying Australia's still not running out of food, so why are the shelves so bare? Petrol stations fail to pass on fuel price cuts despite global oil prices falls due to coronavirus NSW shopper charged for allegedly ramming women with trolley, punching staff over flour outage Reserve Bank expected to cut interest rates ahead of more coronavirus economic stimulus Jewellery heist in Sydney overnight