To serve the Australian people as a minister in the Morrison Government is a great honour. I thank the Prime Minister for the opportunity to serve as Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business.
As the Prime Minister has said, a key priority for the government is to cement our economic recovery to create more jobs.
Australia’s comeback is well under way. We need to ensure it continues.
As Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, my priority will be to continue the comeback through building a workforce that can drive Australia’s prosperity.
Workforce participation for women, a care workforce for our aged, our people with disability and our veterans is critical to the success of this prosperity. We also need to ensure Australians have the skills to build this workforce.
We also need to ensure the backbone of Australia’s economic prosperity—small and family business—are given every opportunity to thrive.
I look forward to continuing the great work of Senator the Hon Michaela Cash to ensure everyone has the opportunity to get a job, train for a job or build a business.
To serve as Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Minister for Government Services has been both rewarding and challenging. The NDIS is now available everywhere across Australia. There are now over 430,000 Australians in the Scheme. In 2020, 100 per cent of access decisions to the NDIS were made within the 21 day timeframe—in June 2019, it was taking an average of 42 days to make an access decision.
I am incredibly proud of transformation in Services Australia towards delivering a simple, helpful, respectful and transparent service for all Australians. Its success can be measured—the days of spending hours on the phone waiting to speak to Centrelink are over. The average speed of answer in July-February 2019-20 was 15 minutes with 13 million busy signals. For July-February 2020-21 it was 4 minutes average speed of answer and only 706 busy signals.
Throughout bushfires, a pandemic and floods, all my departments and agencies have excelled and delivered during time in need and I thank everyone for their hard work and service.
I congratulate Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds ASC on her appointment as Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Minister for Government Services. I am confident Senator Reynolds will continue to deliver on the Morrison Government’s priority to guarantee the essential services Australians rely on.
I want to also thank the people of Fadden for their continued faith in me to deliver as their local Member of Parliament. It is that faith that enables me to continue to deliver for the Gold Coast whilst acting to cement our economic recovery by creating more jobs in today’s challenging world.