Residents line-up at Centrelink Mackay on the first day of restrictions placed on non-essential services in Queensland.
Residents line-up at Centrelink Mackay on the first day of restrictions placed on non-essential services in Queensland.

Huge lines at Centrelink after mass COVID-19 job cuts

DEVASTATING scenes played out at The Hub in North Mackay as hundreds of out of work residents lined up following mass job cuts across the region.

It was a revolving door of new applicants at Centrelink Mackay after Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday night revealed drastic measures in the Federal Government’s coronavirus lockdown.

Non-essential services across the country, including gyms, pubs, clubs, cinemas, churches and sporting venues were forced to shut their doors at midday Monday resulting in unprecedented job losses.

Cafes and restaurants can still offer takeaway services, but are banned from opening to the public.

Tensions were high as the newly unemployed waited in 28-degree temperatures to find out what assistance they would be eligible for.

And the cars did not stop arriving with more people trying to access the facility after MyGov and Centrelink online services crashed due to high volumes of traffic.

One person in line said they had been waiting for a while and the line was not moving very quickly.

Many of those waiting were cautious, with some standing apart practising social distancing while others wore masks while they waited.

Centrelink staff inside the building were working to helppeople waiting in the line as fast as possible.