FEDERAL Member for Bendigo elect Lisa Chesters said the Abbott government's job cuts to Centrelink showed the new government didn't care about ordinary people.
It was announced yesterday that up to a quarter of the nation's Centrelink call centre workers are set to lose their jobs by December.
It is estimated up to 1100 people will lose their jobs.
"Local people losing their jobs is the most obvious and immediate impact of this decision," Ms Chesters said.
"These workers and their families now face an uncertain future."
A Department of Human Services spokesperson said the employees affected were engaged on short-term, non-ongoing contracts or as irregular and intermittent employees to assist with peak times of demand.
"This is simply the end of a planned temporary contracts, they are not permanent staff," the spokesperson said.
"They came from additional funding provided in this year’s Budget to specifically answer calls during the July to September seasonal peak period for customers receiving family payments – which is now coming to an end.
"About 1100 temporary staff have been helping with this peak across Australia, in line with the Budget measure."
Ms Chesters said a reduction in Centrelink staff levels in Bendigo and across the nation will have a huge affect on the people in our community relying on Centrelink services.
"I have no doubt that these jobs cuts will lead to increased waiting times and deteriorating support for a broad section of the Bendigo and central Victorian community," she said.
"People using Centrelink phone services can expect a return of 60 to 90 minutes waits just as we saw before the relief staff were employed.
"That's not fair on the staff left behind and the numerous individuals and families relying on Centrelink services.
"I believe that Centrelink should have a stable, highly-skilled workforce of permanent employees."