The new Federal Government has made significant changes to key portfolios including disability and aged care.  These are now the responsibility of one minister with the role of carers for ageing Australians and people with a disability falling within the one portfolio. The renamed Social Services portfolio will absorb the functions of Settlement Affairs, Multicultural Affairs and Aged Care Administration.

It will be headed by former Howard government workplace minister Kevin Andrews. Senator Mitch Fifield (pictured) is the Assistant Minister for Social Services, responsible for Ageing and Disabilities. He was previously Shadow Minister for Disability, Carers and the Voluntary Sector. In a statement Senator Fifield said the Coalition is committed to the full implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and this will be a priority. Employment for people with a disability will also be an important focus, the minister said.

“I am extremely pleased that there will be continuity in front bench representation at ministerial level for Australians with a disability, their families, carers and the organisations that support them.” He added that the role of carers of all ages cannot be underestimated. All eligible residents are expected to be covered by the NDIS in 2019. Senator Fifield attended the Daily Living Expo in May where he spoke to ATSA members.