Australian Government services in Newport will be available through a one-stop shop from next week, when Medicare services delivered from the Altona Gate Shopping Centre move in with nearby Centrelink services on Melbourne Road.
Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen said all Medicare staff and services at the shopping centre would relocate to join other department services at 433-439 Melbourne Road on Monday 10 August.
“Bringing together services like Medicare and Centrelink means residents will be able to do more of their government business in one place,” Mr Jongen said.
“Newport will be the latest of nearly 200 communities across Australia to have a Department of Human Services one-stop shop.
“The Newport One-stop Shop reflects the trend of delivering more government services from a single point, and acknowledges significant changes in the way customers access services.”
Mr Jongen said the introduction of alternative Medicare claiming options had resulted in a drop in demand for face-to-face Medicare services at the Altona Gate Shopping Centre.
“Foot traffic has been dropping steadily in recent years. The number of customers coming to the Medicare in Altona Gate has more than halved since 2012,” Mr Jongen said.
“Instead of going into a service centre, customers are making use of the alternative Medicare claiming options we’ve introduced, in particular claiming rebates at the doctor’s office.
“It’s a fast, easy, and convenient option and it saves people a trip to a service centre. Overall, 95% of all Medicare claims are now made at the doctor’s clinic or through other online channels.
“Residents can also make a claim for common rebate items using Medicare online services through myGov, or through the department’s Express Plus mobile apps.
“While people are always welcome to visit us face-to-face, I’d encourage those who are able to claim routine items at the doctor’s clinic or by using our self-service options to do so, as this allows staff to help people with more complex needs.”
The Newport One-stop Shop will be open Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm.