Centrelink on wheels helps locals

MORE than 400 people have sought the help of Centrelink staff working from the Federal Government’s Mobile Office since it arrived in Coffs Harbour three days ago.

The Mobile Office was diverted to the Mid North Coast of New South Wales from Queensland last weekend to help residents affected by recent floods.

The vehicle opened its doors on Monday at 8am opposite the Coffs Harbour Centrelink office and staff have helped more than 400 residents move on with their lives since heavy rain swamped the area earlier this month.

Mobile Office trip leader Kathy Sack says she’s been moved by some of the stories she’s hearing.

“We heard about one man who had been living in his car when the floods came and the vehicle was washed away into the river,” she said.

“There’s been many stories about people having damaged homes and others who were isolated by water,” Kathy said.

Two special marquees have also been set up outside the Mobile Office for residents to talk to staff about what assistance they may be eligible for.

Kathy says Centrelink staff are well trained and experienced in assisting people recover from natural disasters like this and she urges residents to visit the Mobile Office.

“We know there are many residents living with a real fear of what’s going to happen next with the weather,” Kathy said.

“We will be in Coffs Harbour until next Thursday, November 26, and we’re here to support anyone who is struggling to get their lives back on track since these floods.

“There are Centrelink social workers and psychologists available so I would urge all local farmers to test their eligibility for assistance.”

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