QUEUES of people, including newly jobless, stretched out from the entrance of Albury's Centrelink office on Monday morning.
The federal government's welfare agency was in demand after NSW and Victorian announced a mass shutdown of non-essential services with the hospitality sector hardest hit.
Among those lining up was Albury gap year taker Claire Macdonald.
She had been working 55 hours a week in two casual jobs at Dean Street eateries South Cali Cantina and Early Bird Cafe before the clamp downs came.
Ms Macdonald was a manager at the former and barista at the latter.
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She got messages on Monday morning confirming there would be no work anytime soon.
"It's pretty shocking because I've gone from having pretty secure jobs to going to not knowing what's going to happen," Ms Macdonald said.
"Now I have to work out what to do with all my time."
Ms Macdonald had been saving her money in anticipation of beginning a medical degree in Adelaide next year.
"Now I'm not sure if I'll have enough (money) at the end of the year," she said.
Also in the queue seeking information about unemployment assistance was self-employed Albury mobile food stand owner Casey Evans who runs Easy Catering.
"I've got no work at all and with the bushfires we lost a lot and only had three weeks of work since," Mr Evans said.
"It's been a tight struggle."
Mr Evans said two of his biggest events, Corryong's Man From Snowy River Festival and the Easter Narrandera Rod Run would have been happening next month under normal circumstances.
His last job was Wodonga's Chryslers on the Murray and his savings were now very low and he needed government help.
A rare good news story in the line-up was that of Rutherglen's Paul Landers.
After five years of unemployment he began working last Wednesday as a cleaner at the United service station near the Hume Freeway on the western edge of Wodonga.
"I've been trying and trying to get work," Mr Landers, 33, said.
He has been doing a three-hour shift in the morning and two hours at night.
Tasks include cleaning bowsers, door handles, benchtops, toilets, wash basins and urinals.
Mr Landers was in the line to clarify his job status in relation to forms he needs to submit.
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