Community facilities | June 11, 2021

Office remains closed but Minister says someone is home

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy advises local residents that while the reception area of the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing in Gray Street, Hamilton remains closed, clients can still contact the office for an appointment.

Ms Kealy made the discovery after writing to the Minister for Housing seeking advice on why the office (formerly the Department of Health and Human Services) continued to be closed some 15 months after the doors were shut in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In her letter to the Minister dated 16 March 2021 Ms Kealy enquired why, despite the Government directive at the time which allowed 75% of the workforce to return, the doors remain firmly shut to members of the general public.

“While the Minister did not provide any answers as to why the reception area remains closed, he did advise that clients can still contact the office for service on (03) 5551 3299,” Ms Kealy said.

“While better than nothing, this does not help some local residents who do not have access to a computer to print out forms like the Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme form which they have previously been able to collect in hard copy by dropping into the office.

“I have written again to the Minister seeking advice on when the reception area will open again to the general public and will keep local residents advised as information is received by my office.

“In the meantime I encourage local residents to call the number provided and make an appointment to meet with the departmental staff available to access the service they are entitled to and deserve from this important Victorian government agency.”



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