Disability policy a priority for Social Services Minister

Social Services Minister the Hon. Christian Porter MP has welcomed the finalisation of the machinery of government changes in the Turnbull Ministry that will see some changes to the composition of the Social Services portfolio.

As part of the changes the seniors and ageing policy will move to the Department of Health, and childcare policy will move to the Department of Education and Training, allowing Minister Porter to provide a strong focus on disability issues, including the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

“I would like to congratulate Minister Fifield for the excellent work he has done since 2013 in settling arrangements for the NDIS rollout,” Minister Porter said.

“An outstanding platform has been set, to improve the lives of people with disability, their families and carers.

“There is strong progress on the rollout of the NDIS, work is underway with the states and territories to develop the second implementation plan under the National Disability Strategy, and we are progressing with the Commonwealth’s $33.7 million commitment to Australia’s carers through the Integrated Plan for Carer Support Services.”

Agreement on the detailed arrangements for the NDIS full scheme transition in NSW and Victoria was one of the first acts of the Turnbull Government. Minister Porter said the NDIS was recognised by the Coalition Government as a vital reform and he would provide people with disability and their families with a direct voice in the Turnbull Cabinet.

“The NDIS is one of the largest social policy reforms in Australia’s history and it will provide choice and control to around 460,000 Australians with disability – it is now at the absolute centre of my portfolio responsibilities," Minister Porter said.

“Now that New South Wales and Victoria have finalised arrangements for the state-wide roll out of the NDIS, certainty already exists for 58 per cent of all future participants.

“My focus is on furthering the very productive engagement that Senator Fifield had with the remaining states and territories.

“Social Services is a broad portfolio, but it all comes back to one thing – improving the lifetime wellbeing of people and families in Australia, and in particular the most vulnerable in our communities.

“Now that the portfolio responsibilities have been finalised I will also be inviting key stakeholders in the disability and other sectors to Canberra for a series of ministerial meetings and departmental briefings during the October sitting weeks of Parliament.”

Minister Porter also welcomed the appointment of the Hon Alan Tudge as Assistant Minister for Social Services, who will continue his ground-breaking work on the Healthy Welfare Card, as well as take on additional responsibilities assisting on other portfolio issues.