Social and Community

October 2017

New drugs listed on PBS – October 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Social and Community, Health,

Health Minister Greg Hunt says subsidies and price reductions for more than 1,400 medications came into effect from October 1.

September 2017

Government on notice to bring on language test changes – September 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Social and Community, Immigration,

The Government’s controversial citizenship proposals, including a much tougher English language test, have suffered a serious blow, with the Senate giving Immigration Minister Peter Dutton four parliamentary sitting days to put the bill up for debate.

Indexation increases for benefit recipients from 20 September 2017 – September 2017

Filed under: Social and Community, Social Services,

Social Services Minister Christian Porter says 4.7 million pensioners and allowance recipients will receive an increase to their welfare payments from 20 September.

Health Department head to retire – September 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Public Sector, Social and Community, Health,

Health Department secretary Martin Bowles has told the Government that he will leave the position on September 1.

New crackdown on asylum seeker support – September 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Social and Community, Immigration,

The federal Government is withdrawing welfare support from some asylum seekers who were brought to Australia for medical treatment.

PNG demands negotiation over future of Manus Island asylum seekers – September 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Social and Community, Immigration,

The new Government of Papua New Guinea has told Australia it cannot shut down the Manus Island detention centre and leave asylum seekers in PNG at the end of October.

Minister claims success for new work and holiday visa – September 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Social and Community, Immigration,

Tourism Minister Steve Ciobo says Australia’s new work and holiday visa, which commenced on 1 August has had an “overwhelmingly positive” response.

Drug tests for welfare beneficiaries part of broader welfare changes – September 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Social and Community, Social Services,

A Senate committee is inquiring into proposed Government changes to limit welfare payments, including the proposed trial of drug testing of welfare recipients at three locations.

GP bulk billing increases – September 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Social and Community, Health,

Health Minister Greg Hunt says that GP bulk billing rates for the 2016-17 financial year increased to 85.7 per cent compared to 85.1 per cent in 2015-16.

August 2017

Retirement village allegations on agenda for Federal and state ministers’ meeting – August 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Social and Community, Aged Care,

Retirement villages and recent allegations of unfair practises will be discussed at a meeting of State and Territory Consumer Affairs Ministers, Federal Small Business Minister Michael McCormack has announced.

Funding to monitor prescription drug abuse – August 2017

Filed under: Social and Community, Health,

Health Minister Greg Hunt says the Government will invest over $16 million to deliver the national roll-out of real-time prescription monitoring for medicines to directly address the needless loss of life from misuse of these drugs.

July 2017

New single complaints mechanism for pharmaceutical advertising – July 2017

Filed under: Social and Community, Health,

The Health Department says the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), is implementing new arrangements to simplify and improve the handling of complaints about the advertising of medicines and medical devices to the public.

Working visa English language requirements clarified – July 2017

Filed under: Social and Community, Immigration,

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has assured the business community that changes to the exemption to English language and skills assessment requirements for employer-sponsored permanent visas will not be applied to applications lodged before the changes came into effect on 1 July 2017.

Discussion paper published on future ‘at home’ aged care reforms – July 2017

Filed under: Social and Community, Aged Care,

The federal Government has released a public discussion paper to help inform future care at home reforms.

June 2017

Labor to oppose citizenship change, continues to debate Adani – June 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Social and Community, Immigration,

The Government’s proposed changes to the Australian citizenship test provoked lively debate in the ranks of the Labor Opposition, leading eventually to a unanimous decision to oppose the entire package.

Productivity Commission warns on NDIS rollout plans – June 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Social and Community, Health, NDIS,

The Productivity Commission has described the rollout schedule of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as “highly ambitious” and warned that it is compromising the quality of care being offered.

Government rejects robo-debt shutdown report as “political’ – June 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Senate, Social and Community, Social Services,

The Senate inquiry into Centrelink’s controversial automated debt recovery system – widely known as ‘robo-debt’ – has called for the system to be suspended until its many flaws can be resolved.

Senate Committee to scrutinise aged care abuse – June 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Social and Community, Aged Care,

The Senate has ordered an inquiry into aged care abuse and mistreatment.

Citizenship changes rest on cross-bench as Labor decides to oppose – June 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Social and Community, Immigration,

Labor has decided to vote against the Government’s proposed changes to Australian citizenship requirements, denying there is any link between citizenship policy and national security, as claimed by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.

Registration invited for Disability Employment Services providers – June 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Social and Community, Social Services,

The federal Government has released an industry information paper that provides essential information for those delivering Disability Employment Services (DES) from 1 July 2018.

May 2017

Minister sets October deadline for asylum application – May 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Social and Community, Immigration,

The federal Government has set a deadline for thousands of what it calls ‘Illegal Maritime Arrivals (IMAs)’ who arrived in Australia under the previous Labor Government to prove they are genuine refugees and owed protection by Australia.

Program for parents to return to the workforce expanded – May 2017

Filed under: Employment and Education, Employment, Training, Politics, Australian Politics,

The federal Government says it will invest $263 million to provide training and support to assist thousands of Australian parents return to the workforce.

Budget 2017 – The big political sea change – May 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Budget, Social and Community, Health,

The overwhelming public and media reaction to this week’s Budget has been one of surprise – and mostly, of relief. Headlines such as ‘reset” and ‘fresh start’ have predominated.

Commentators point to Budget ‘reset’ – May 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Budget, Opinion Polls, Social and Community,

The Budget has been widely interpreted as a turning point for the Coalition and a Prime Minister bedevilled by consistently poor opinion polls.

Shorten says, ‘That’s not fairness, this is fairness’ – May 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Budget, Social and Community, Health,

Labor’s response to the Budget has maintained the theme of fairness, saying the Government’s revenue measures were simply aimed at improving the bottom line.

Aged care – May 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Budget, Social and Community, Aged Care,

The Budget says that overall, the principal driver of growth over the forward estimates for assistance to the aged is income support for seniors, which is estimated to grow by 0.1 per cent in real terms from 2016-17 to 2017-18, and by 7.7 per cent in real terms from 2017-18 to 2020-21, reflecting demographic changes.

Welfare benefits, employment programs and pensions – May 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Budget, Social and Community, Social Services,

The Government will consolidate seven working age payments into a single Jobseeker payment.

Health and Medicare – May 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Budget, Social and Community, Health,

The Budget will raise $8.2 billion over the four year Forward Estimates by increasing the existing Medicare levy across all incomes.

April 2017

Legislating as the curtains come down – not pretty but important – April 2017

Filed under: Economy and Finance, Tax, Politics, Australian Politics, Budget,

The final sitting weeks of parliamentary sessions are usually frantic and febrile – never more so than when, as now, the Government lacks a majority in the Senate and needs to force or negotiate its legislation through before a deadline.

Accenture wins big Government IT tender – April 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Public Sector, Social and Community, Social Services,

The federal Government has selected Accenture as the preferred tenderer to provide systems integration services for the next phase of the Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation (WPIT) Program, subject to commercial negotiations.

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