During States question Deputy Jackie Hilton raised the issue with Treasury Minister Alan Maclean after personally experiencing a long delay while in the department, during which she also heard negative feedback from other customers.
‘Is the minister aware of the unacceptable waiting times being experienced by the public on a daily basis in the Income Tax Department?’ she asked. ‘And if so, what does he intend to do about it?’
Senator Maclean said that he was aware of the problem and that work was being carried out to address it.
‘I would welcome from the Deputy any specifics she is referring to in terms of individuals who may have raised issues,’ he said. ‘That aside, I am aware that there have been delays in the Income Tax Department and I know that the Comptroller has issued an apology in that regard.
‘There have been difficulties with the systems and, as such, it has caused some delay. But work is under way to rectify the situation. Hopefully that will be the case as quickly as possible.’
Deputy Hilton said that she was talking from ‘personal experience’ and from anecdotes she had heard.
‘I was in the Income Tax Department itself a couple of weeks ago and so experienced the delay myself,’ she said.
‘I became aware from talking to other members of the public that some people had been waiting for over an hour.
‘I think it’s unacceptable that people are being made to wait such a long time and something needs to be done about that.’
Senator Maclean agreed that the problem was ‘unacceptable’.