Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Australian Federal Government: Same-Sex Reforms - Centrelink

Note by P. Attard: Same-sex couples will be recognised as from the 1st July 2009 by the Australian Social Security Agency (Centrelink), thanks to wide-ranging changes under the new Labour Federal Government headed by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. 

Australian Federal Government, Capital Hill, Canberra

[Click on the image to enlarge.]

The Australian Government has introduced wide-ranging reforms that recognise all couples, regardless of the sexual orientation or gender of a partner. The reforms also recognises children living in same-sex families.

From 1 July 2009 changes to legislation will mean that customers who are in a same-sex de facto relationship will be recognised as partnered for Centrelink and Family Assistance Office purposes. All customers who are assessed as being a member of a couple will have their rate of payment calculated in the same way.

Customers can contact Centrelink about how these changes may affect them by calling 13 6280. From 30 March 2009 customers can call this number to declare their relationship.

Information for customers and community organisations

The same-sex law reforms may affect certain Centrelink payments. Further information is available for customers and community organisations in this website.

Factsheets and publications

The same-sex law reforms may affect certain payments you receive from Centrelink. Details about these payments including rates are available in the Factsheets and publicationssection.

Other government changes

The same-sex law reforms affect services and payments you may be receiving from other government agencies and departments. Refer to Other government changes for more information.

Couples are Couples video, audio and press advertisement


This video provides information about the new reforms and what they mean for customers.


This audio contains information for customers about the new reforms.

Press advertisement

This advertisement will feature in national press and contains information for customers about the reforms and how to find out more information.

Media backgrounder

This media provides background information regarding the same-sex law reforms and Centrelink.


Centrelink understands that it can be difficult to disclose your relationship status. If you are concerned about identifying your sexual orientation or being discriminated against, refer toPrivacy section for more information.

Review and appeals

If you are not happy with a decision made by Centrelink, you have the right to question it. The review and appeal process is explained in the Reviews and Appeals factsheet.

More information

Contact details

If you want to talk to someone about how these changes may affect you, you can call us on13 6280. From 30 March 2009 you can call this number to declare your relationship.

As your payments may change, it is a good idea to start planning your financial affairs early. If you want to talk to a Financial Information Service officer about the financial impacts of these changes, call 13 2300.

Centrelink also have social workers available to provide counselling and support, provide information about referral to community support services and assist with claims for payment. To speak with a Centrelink Social Worker call 13 1794.

To speak to Centrelink in languages other than English, call 13 1202.

Useful links

1 comment:

  1. It is important to note that this has nothing to do with marriage, civil unions or partner registration. The current federal labour government appears to be opposed to marriage. Civil unions and partner registrations are a matter for state governments. This arises out of the federal nature of our government. Recognition of same-sex couples which is legislation specific (especially at the state level)is not new. But the current changes are significant at the federal level.
    Joseph Carmel Chetcuti