FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, is encouraging people in New England to have their say on the recently released interim report proposing improvements to Australia’s welfare system.
Mr Joyce says public submissions need to be lodged by Friday, 8 August.
“The interim report, ‘A New System for Better Employment and Social Outcomes’, proposes changes to our nation’s welfare system to help ensure it is sustainable, simple, equitable and effective,” Mr Joyce said.
The Government is seeking feedback on the interim report, and all feedback will be considered by the Reference Group on Welfare Reform in developing its final recommendations to the Government, due later this year.
“This is a great opportunity for our community to contribute to the improvements which will be made to Australia’s welfare system and I encourage individuals or organisations to participate in this process,” he said.
Among the suggestions in the interim report is a more simplified system that consists of four main payments: a tiered Working Age Payment; a Disability Support Pension; an Age Pension; and a Child Payment.
In addition to the public submissions process, the Reference Group invited feedback on its interim report through targeted roundtable discussions and a closed online forum.
About 350 organisations were invited to take part in these forums, including community and business groups, advocacy groups and service providers, peak welfare organisations, employers and expert individuals, at both a national and local level.
A copy of the interim report, and information about how to lodge a public submission, can be found at www.dss.gov.au/welfarereform.