Welcome to 2015 as it ushers in a new minister for Social Services, Scott Morrison. The minister has moved from immigration to an expanded social services portfolio that covers the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), welfare, childcare and the parental leave scheme. As the first regional NDIS office opens in South Australia, we can expect the NDIS will continue to be the main topic of debate for the disability sector in 2015.
In a statement the minister said he would like to get people off welfare and into a job if they have the capacity to work. He echoed the view of the assistant minister for social services, Mitch Fifield, who told F2L in an interview last September that the “single most empowering and poverty-busting thing we can do for anyone is to give them a job.” However, getting a job remains an issue especially for people with disability. In this edition we alert you to changes for the disability support pension, at home and abroad…give an update on the major reforms happening at Brain Injury Australia…and revisit three of our top stories from 2014.