Monday, 16th September 2013 at 4:46 pm
Kevin Andrews has been named Minister for Social Services, under Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott’s cabinet – placing most of the control of the Not for Profit sector under one portfolio.
The social services portfolio, described by Abbott as “the largest area of expenditure and payments in the Budget”, will be responsible for settlement services, multicultural affairs and aged care.
Labor Government portfolios including Housing and Homelessness, Community Services, Disability Reform, Mental Health and Ageing, and Climate Change have all gone.
“The Hon Kevin Andrews MP will be Minister for Social Services and be responsible for the largest area of expenditure and payments in the Budget,” Abbott said.
Senator Mitch Fifield will be Assistant Minister for Social Services responsible for the development of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and aged care.
Former Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin says she’s disappointed that the Minister in charge of delivering DisabilityCare (NDIS) which she describes as the single biggest social reform in since Medicare – “has been quietly demoted and will not sit in the new Cabinet”.
“It is deeply worrying that the biggest social reform in a generation is not a high enough priority for the new Government to warrant the attention of a Cabinet Minister.
“We need someone inside the Cabinet room to fight for people with disability when the tough decisions are being made – not waiting outside.”
Also in the Abbott line-up, Senator Marise Payne will be Minister for Human Services. Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells will be Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services with special responsibility for multicultural affairs and settlement services.
Andrews had reiterated at the Not for Profit pre-election forum at the National Press Club in Canberra last month that the Coalition would abolish the charity regulator, the ACNC, if elected into office and replace it with a Centre for Excellence.
Community Council for Australia CEO David Crosbie reserved judgement on the Coalition Cabinet.
“We need to look beyond the headline titles and see the Administrative Orders which explain in more detail exactly which Ministers and Assistant Ministers are accepting responsibility of each area of administration,” he said.
“There may well be a range of changes in the structure and operation of programs and services outlined in these Administrative Orders. These are due to be released on Wednesday.”
Crosbie said the CCA had always welcomed the Coalition commitment to reducing red tape and compliance costs, to establishing a new Business Community partnership and a Centre of Excellence for the sector.
“We look forward to working with Minister Andrews, Senator Sinodinus and others to implement these policies,” he said.
Other appointments include Scott Morrison as Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and Senator Michaelia Cash as Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection which will also include Customs.
“As promised, the administration of Indigenous Affairs will move into the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet,” Abbott said.
“Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion will be Minister for Indigenous Affairs.”
George Brandis has been named Attorney-General and Minister for the Arts, and Greg Hunt Minister for Environment.
Julie Bishop, the only female in the Cabinet, was named Minister for Foreign Affairs.