National

One-stop shop for government services opens in Woden

A "one-stop-shop" for government services where people can manage Centrelink, Medicare and tax under one roof has officially opened in the city's south.

The government services have all moved into one shopfront at Penrhyn House on Bowes Street in Woden. 

Senator Marise Payne, Minister for Human Services, said the Woden Service Centre would provide access to a wider range of services in a single location. 

"That's the sort of co-located government together sort of message that we have been working on for some time now and is laid out here beautifully for everybody to see," she said. 

"I'm proud of what my staff do, I'm proud of what my staff do working with the ATO staff as well.

"Change is never simple, it's never something that happens overnight, it takes time to get used to, you often have to learn new skills - some people want to, some are more reticent but in the end it's what makes us more productive and better able to serve our customers and they're our bottom line. Let's be frank about that.

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"We are the face of government to so many Australians." 

ACT Liberal senator Zed Seselja said the time was right for the move offering combined government services under one roof. 

"Demand for face-to-face Medicare services is reducing nationwide as people take advantage of other options like claiming at the doctor's surgery, the department's suite of Express Plus apps and myGov for online services," he said. 

People will also be able to get help to register for myGov at the centre. MyGov offers online services for Medicare, ATO, Centrelink, the Department of Employment's Australian Jobsearch, Child Support, the Department of Veterans' Affairs and the National Disability Insurance Scheme. 

Mr Seselja said people who required more personal or intensive support would be able to access face-to-face services at the centre if required. 

The ATO's move out of its shopfront from Civic to Woden has left more empty federal government office space lying idle in the central business district, which, in December, had nearly a year left to run on the lease. 

Ms Payne said previously the co-location model, begun under the previous Labor government, reflected slowing demand for face-to-face government services

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