Social and Community
Health Minister Greg Hunt says subsidies and price reductions for more than 1,400 medications came into effect from October 1.
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.
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 secretary Martin Bowles has told the Government that he will leave the position on September 1.
The federal Government is withdrawing welfare support from some asylum seekers who were brought to Australia for medical treatment.
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.
Tourism Minister Steve Ciobo says Australia’s new work and holiday visa, which commenced on 1 August has had an “overwhelmingly positive” response.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The federal Government has released a public discussion paper to help inform future care at home reforms.
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.
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.
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.
The Senate has ordered an inquiry into aged care abuse and mistreatment.
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.
The federal Government has released an industry information paper that provides essential information for those delivering Disability Employment Services (DES) from 1 July 2018.
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.
The federal Government says it will invest $263 million to provide training and support to assist thousands of Australian parents return to the workforce.
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.
The Budget has been widely interpreted as a turning point for the Coalition and a Prime Minister bedevilled by consistently poor opinion polls.
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.
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.
The Government will consolidate seven working age payments into a single Jobseeker payment.
The Budget will raise $8.2 billion over the four year Forward Estimates by increasing the existing Medicare levy across all incomes.
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.
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.