Saffin says Telstra doesn’t care about country areas; 116 jobs lost
August 21, 2012
Page MP Janelle Saffin said she is shocked and saddened at today’s news that Telstra plans to close its call centre in Goonellabah.
“Telstra’s head of Customer Service, Peter Jameson, rang to tell me that he was just about to walk in to break the devastating news to local Telstra staff that Telstra was going to close the Goonellabah Call Centre,” she said.
“I was shocked and actually felt sick, to think that 116 local people were about to have their lives turned upside down.
“Telstra proves again that they are without heart and can abandon the country just like that.
“Back in 2010 when Telstra closed the Grafton Business Call Centre, there were fears that the Goonellabah Call Centre also faced closure. Telstra insisted that they weren’t going to close Goonellabah.
“But today staff have been told that the centre will indeed close in October.
“This is devastating news for the 116 staff and it really raises questions about Telstra’s interest in rural and regional Australia.
“Telstra Countrywide needs to do more than advertise for our business, they need to show a commitment to country people.
“What we need to do now is fight to get jobs to stay and support staff.
“I have been in touch with the CPSU organiser for Lismore and the Local Employment Co-ordinator for our region, Terry Watson, about how we can work together to support the staff.
“We are all just reeling from the news at the moment.”
Telstra said the closure was the result of changes in the industry.
“Specifically call volumes have declined more than 20 per cent over the last 12 months and are anticipated to continue to decline over the next few years as more customers move to online and use our various self serve options,” Telstra said in a statement.
“In fact 30 per cent of our customers now use online transactions. As a result, we believe we need fewer contact centres in the future.”