An extended deadline has been given to Greeks responding to the Centrelink letters regarding the Social Security Agreement between Australia and Greece that was enacted on 1 October 2008.

Around 99 per cent of the Greek community in Australia have responded to the letters. “Centrelink is working with Greek community groups to develop appropriate strategies to allay the fears of the small percentage of people who have not yet responded to Centrelink’s letters,” Federal MP Steve Georganas said.

“Implementation of other social security agreements has shown that this reaction is commonly experienced and that working with community groups to develop specific targeted strategies is the most effective way of dealing with concerns,” he added. He stressed the fact that he supports this process as he represents Hindmarsh, an electorate with the largest number of people with a Greek background in Australia.

A number of steps have been taken to provide information and to explain Centrelink’s requirements and procedures. These include meetings with peak community groups, community information sessions around Australia, bilingual fact sheets and advertisements in both English and Greek community newspapers and on community and SBS radio.