From country to coast: Mobile Service Centres offering an invaluable service to those in rural and regional communities

Truck on the road

When a Mobile Service Centre drives into town, its impact is often immediate. 

For one elderly couple, it provided a lifeline and access to much needed support. Ongoing medical costs meant they were struggling financially – so much so, they had been considering selling their home just to support themselves.

The friendly staff on-board launched into action, doing everything they could to make sure the couple were receiving everything they were entitled to. They helped the man complete paperwork so he could have Carer Allowance granted immediately, and the payment backdated.

While on-board, the team also updated his details in the system, which increased his fortnightly Age Pension rate.

By the end of the day, staff had been able to provide the couple with significant additional financial support based on their current circumstances.

This is just one example of how the Department of Human Services Mobile Service Centres are providing vital support to those in need across rural and regional Australia. 

Trucks Desert Rose and Golden Wattle have concluded another busy financial year travelling across the country providing communities with tailored Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support, and as part of a pilot, veteran-specific assistance.

During the 2018-19 financial year, the Mobile Service Centres travelled over 60,000 kilometres, assisted over 10,200 customers and visited 410 communities.

Mobile Service Centre Manager Kelly Hunter said Mobile Service Centres offer an important link to face-to-face government services for those in rural and regional communities.

‘We really pride ourselves on the supportive face-to-face service we provide to people in communities across Australia,’ said Kelly.

‘We always encourage people to come on-board while we’re in town and have a chat about their circumstances, because we may be able to connect them to a range of payments and support services.’

The versatility of the trucks and crews allow them to move quickly to provide support following natural disasters when Australian Government assistance is announced.

Following the floods in Northern Queensland earlier this year, Golden Wattle spent 13 days in seven disaster-affected communities.

Crews helped more than 500 people gain access to much needed Government assistance, just like the young stock-hand who had seen his beloved saddle severely damaged and his tools lost in the floodwater.

The team assisted the young man with a Disaster Recovery Allowance claim and were able to connect him to the local Country Women’s Association, who provided him a grant to replace his tools and saddle.

The young man’s mother, on the phone and in tears, thanked everyone on-board for the care and support provided to her son who was able to continue employment because of their assistance.

Veteran-specific services have also been added to the range of assistance offered on-board the Mobile Service Centres. 

‘We’re really happy to be able to provide information and support to veterans and their families on behalf of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs,’ said Kelly.

‘The feedback we’ve received from veterans and their families about our assistance has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’re excited to continue to offer this service.’

More information

To find out more about the Mobile Service Centres, including where the trucks are visiting next, visit our website.