Over the last 4 years the Government has focused on the overarching problem of sustainability in the welfare system. The problem BEING that welfare spending was growing faster than the taxpayers’ ability to pay for it.
The Government wants a welfare system that supports the most vulnerable, encourages those capable of work or study to do so, reduces intergenerational welfare dependency, and is sustainable for the future.
It is important audiences such as that assembled here come together to discuss theory and practice designed to improve social policy outcomes for individual Australians.
For the first time in history through the Australian Priority Investment Approach to Welfare, we have a clear, transparent and detailed profile of the welfare system.
Today we are recognising and celebrating this great contribution by Australians of all ages who are easing the daily lives of other Australians across the country.
The collection and application of data will have a massive effect on service delivery in social services and indeed in most other areas in government.
These are significant times for the disability sector and I feel a great sense of privilege as well as responsibility having stewardship of disability policy at the Commonwealth level.
In my portfolio, housing in all its aspects – affordability of housing, supply of housing, access to housing – is at the centre of a great range of social services challenges.