Culture

Centrelink Queues Stretch Around The Block After MyGov Website Crashes

"Pretty cool that in two thousand and twenty you have to physically queue with a million of your fellow virulent patriots to get Centrelink in a pandemic."

mygov

UPDATE 2:30PM:

After earlier blaming hackers for causing the MyGov website to crash, Government Services Minister Stuart Robert has backtracked saying there was no evidence of that.

Mr Roberts told Question Time the huge number of people logging on today (which, really, they should have seen coming) mirrored an attack which set off alarms.

UPDATE 2PM:

The government now claims the MyGov website was hit by a DDoS hacker attack this morning which caused the website to crash.

A DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack is where hackers overload a website by flooding it with traffic until it’s overwhelmed and shuts down.

Government Services Minister Stuart Robert acknowledged there was an increased demand for MyGov, but also blamed hackers for sending the website under.

“More than 55,000 Australians [were] trying to access [the site] at the same time, as well as the issue we had with the denial of service attack,” he said.

EARLIER:

As thousand of Australians suddenly face the prospect of being forced onto Centrelink during the coronavirus pandemic, the MyGov website which provides online access to the service crashed due to “unprecedented demand”.

Photos also show huge lines of people forced to queue up outside some Centrelink offices this morning in a great display of social distancing.

“There is unprecedented demand for the service right now, but Australians need to be patient. Try logging on later today or even tomorrow,” Minister for Government Services Stuart Robert told the AAP.

Over the weekend the government announced the closure of all non-essential services including bars, clubs and gyms, leaving thousands of people without work.

They’ve since announced Centrelink will provide additional support to people affected, with a new coronavirus supplement giving welfare recipients (including those on Youth Allowance and the Jobseeker Payment) an extra $550 a fortnight.

That $550 will be paid on top of the existing allowance for all new and existing recipients for the next six months.