Media Release: New Mobile Office launched on 10 year anniversary of the service

21 November 2016

The Hon Alan Tudge MP

Minister for Human Services

A new Australian Government Mobile Service Centre officially launches in Canberra today – a decade since the first travelling office set-off from Parliament House to visit rural communities with limited access to government services.

New Mobile Service Centre ‘Desert Rose’ is a compact, high-tech service, operated by experienced staff and equipped to deliver the same Centrelink and Medicare services as any other Department of Human Services Service Centre, including digital self-service facilities and specialist social work support.

Over the past decade, the Mobile Service Centres have covered almost 700,000 kilometres, helped over 120,000 customers, visited more than 3800 towns and been deployed to 20 disaster situations.

Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge, toured ‘Desert Rose’ at Parliament House today to formally launch the new unit and mark the 10 year anniversary of the well-loved outreach service.

“In 2006, the first mobile office – a converted Winnebago - set out on a tour of regional New South Wales with the mission of bringing face-to-face government services to Australians in drought affected regional areas,” Minister Tudge said.

“The first person to step inside was an older male farmer seeking social work assistance rather than income support. The department social worker aboard was able to quickly assist, and we’ve had this specialist face-to-face service as a valued part of our offering ever since.  

“Over a decade, the service has evolved into a pair of nationally touring, high-tech mobile offices that are often the Australian Government’s key connection to people seeking emergency payments and support in the aftermath of natural disasters.

“It is fantastic to formally launch this latest Mobile Service Centre 10 years since the first travelling office rolled out of Canberra.”

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