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Coalition Reveals Portfolio Responsibilities

Wednesday, 18th September 2013 at 5:08 pm
Staff Reporter
The newly sworn-in Coalition Government has released its administrative arrangements showing the list of Not for Profit sector issues largely under the control of the Minister and Deputy Minister for Social Services.

Wednesday, 18th September 2013
at 5:08 pm
Staff Reporter



Coalition Reveals Portfolio Responsibilities
Wednesday, 18th September 2013 at 5:08 pm

The newly sworn-in Coalition Government has released its administrative arrangements showing the list of Not for Profit sector issues largely under the control of the Minister and Deputy Minister for Social Services.

Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews.

The new Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews’ Department will be responsible for:

  • Ageing research;

  • Income security and support policies and programs for families with children, carers, the aged, people with disabilities and people in hardship;

  • Income support policies for students and apprentices;

  • Services for families with children, people with disabilities and carers;

  • Services for older people, including their carers;

  • Policy for and promotion of active ageing, other than employment policy;

  • Community mental health;

  • Community support services;

  • Family relationship, Family and Children’s Support Services;

  • Social housing, rent assistance and homelessness;

  • Child support policy;

  • Housing affordability;

  • Services to help people with disabilities obtain employment;

  • Arrangements for the settlement of migrants and humanitarian entrants, other than migrant child and migrant adult education;

  • Not for Profit sector and volunteering;

  • Multicultural affairs.

Social Services Assistant Minister Mitch Fifield.

The Assistant Minister for Social Services, Mitch Fifield, is to be responsible for the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Control of the new charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), remains with the Treasury Department.

As well, among the long list of areas of control within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the new PM will manage Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy programs and service delivery, the promotion of reconciliation, Native Title community development employment projects and women’s policies and programs.

There is no mention yet of the Community Business Partnerships announced in Opposition by new Prime Minister Tony Abbott. In June 2012, the Federal Coalition announced it plans to increase philanthropic contributions in Australia by re-establishing the Community Business Partnership (CBP) if elected into Government.

Back then Kevin Andrews said in Government the Coalition it would encourage a culture of philanthropy and giving in Australian life through the Community Business Partnership as well as by removing “unnecessary red tape”.

The Administrative Arrangements document was signed off by the Governor-General.

The Australian Greens say the loss of specific cabinet portfolios for both disabilities and ageing undermines the importance of significant reforms in both sectors.

"This is not just about titles in Cabinet. I'm very concerned that this decision represents the insignificance of these issues to Mr Abbott's Government," Australian Greens spokesperson on ageing and disabilities, Senator Rachel Siewert, said.

"With this Cabinet make-up, older Australians and people with disabilities have been left on the outer.

"Aged-care reforms and the implementation of the NDIS are two significant issues that affect the quality of life of millions of Australians, their families and friends – as well as a significant network and workforce of carers around the country. 47 per cent of voters in the election were aged over 50.

“Older Australians make up a significant proportion of our population and deserve specific Ministerial representation.

"The path to delivering the NDIS has been a long one, and people across the community have worked very hard to see the scheme come to fruition. As the launch sites begin operations, it is crucial that this issue has the Cabinet's upmost attention, rather than being pushed into a broad portfolio under the heading of 'social services'. Likewise, the aged care reforms have only just been introduced and need careful implementation.

"Mr Abbott cannot allow key issues which affect vulnerable people to turn into a case of out of sight, out of mind. Where are their policies to help families who are struggling? Where is the stronger support for the community sector, which is left picking up the pieces?

"The Greens will continue to advocacy for the interests of families, older Australians and people with disabilities in the Parliament.”

Staff Reporter  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

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