April 2023 National Cabinet Meeting – Brisbane  

The National Cabinet is a forum for the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers to meet and work collaboratively. A new member to the National Cabinet is The Hon Chris Minns MP, Premier of NSW. 

The key theme of this National Cabinet is A Better Future for The Federation, and they agreed a national approach to a range of priorities for Australians. 

Key priority – Health 

Strengthening Medicare measures were agreed, to ensure health care is more accessible and affordable. They include: 

  1. Supporting workforces to work at top of scope, including pharmacists, paramedics.  
  1. Expanding the nursing workforce to improve access to primary care.  
  1. Improving access to and delivery of after-hours primary care. 
  1. Introducing MyMedicare (patient ID) to support wrap around care for patients registered with their local GP through new blended payment models.  
  1. Providing flexible funding for multi-disciplinary team-based models to improve quality of care. 
  1. Investing in digital health to improve health outcomes. 

The $2.2 billion package of measures will address the immediate challenges in primary care, take pressure off the hospital system, and lay the foundations for long term Medicare reform.  

Key priority – National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) 

The Commonwealth is working with the NDIA Board to take immediate action and ensure the NDIS can continue to provide life-changing outcomes for future generations of Australians with disability. 

The NDIS Financial Sustainability Framework is an important component and will provide annual growth target in the total costs of the Scheme of no more than 8 per cent by 1 July 2026, with further moderation of growth as the scheme matures. First Ministers committed to this Framework and agree that Governments share the goal of reaching long term sustainability for the Scheme. 

Key priority – Better Planning for Stronger Growth 

First Ministers agreed to a range of meaningful reforms to support a national approach to the growth of our cities, towns, and suburbs, including: 

  • Reforms to strengthen renters’ rights across the country. 
  • The States and Territories have a greater contribution to migration settings, to ensure migration meets the local needs of communities. 
  • An independent review of the Infrastructure Investment Program. 
  • Commonwealth, State and Territories working together to support a more sustainable infrastructure pipeline. 
  • Planning Ministers working together to develop a proposal to increase housing supply and affordability. 

The Commonwealth is also making these commitments, to promote better growth. 

  • Supporting a better migration system through increased visa processing capacity, expanding pathways to permanent residence for temporary skilled sponsored workers and taking steps to address migrant exploitation. 
  • Continued investment to enable a pipeline of new social and affordable dwellings, including delivering the Housing Australia Future Fund and expanding the capacity of the Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator by expanding the liability cap by $2 billion.  
  • Offering incentives to increase the supply of housing. 

Key priority – Better Planning for Stronger Growth 

First Ministers continue to work collaboratively on long-term skills reform and agreed that Skills Ministers will finalise a new five-year National Skills Agreement. The National Skills Agreement will ensure that high-quality, accessible education and training will be available to equip Australians with skills and prepare them for the jobs of now and the future. 

Key priority – Net Zero Transformation 

National Cabinet discussed how to best support regions that are exposed to socioeconomic changes associated with decarbonisation. The Prime Minister provided an update on roles and responsibilities across Australian governments for the implementation of the National Transformation Principles, agreed by National Cabinet in 2022. 

Key priority – Care and Support Economy 

National Cabinet discussed the development of a national strategy for the care and support economy. First Ministers agreed to work together to progress a first tranche of reforms to streamline worker screening, improve worker safety, and grow the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander care and support workforce. The strategy will set the vision for a sustainable and productive care and support economy that delivers quality care and support with decent jobs.  

Key priority – Referendum on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Recognition  

National Cabinet reaffirmed its Statement of Intent in February, of the unanimous support of State and Territory Leaders for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and listening to them to achieve practical outcomes to close the gap. 

Next Steps  

The Federal Budget 2023/2034 will be released on Tuesday 9 May. Hawker Britton will provide a summary of Budget commitments and key topics. 

For more information, please contact Hawker Britton’s Managing Director Simon Banks on +61 419 648 587. 

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