ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

Media release: New Minister and changed portfolios in ACT Cabinet

4 July 2014

Susan Helyar, Director of the ACT Council of Social Service, commented today on the announcement of the new portfolio arrangements for Ministers released by Chief Minister Katy Gallagher.

“The ACT Government is a lean operation compared to other jurisdictions, and Ministers carry both local government and territory jurisdiction responsibilities.  I welcome the expansion of the cabinet to include six Ministers.  This expansion should increase the capacity of Ministers and their staff to understand the key issues as well as engage with people and organisations with a keen interest in and expertise to share regarding their portfolio responsibilities.

“I look forward to working more closely with Minister Gentleman on Planning, Community Services, Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Children and Young People and Ageing.  These portfolios cover much of the core business of ACTCOSS, advocating for policy, programs and services that promote justice, equity, reconciliation and social inclusion.

“The Treasurer has a changed set of responsibilities.  He brought a fresh perspective to the community service portfolio, and we valued his leadership of the Human Services Blueprint work over the past twelve months.  Going forward, I welcome the alignment of the portfolios of economic development and housing under Treasurer Barr.  This new combination of portfolios should enhance provision of affordable housing. 

“ACTCOSS thanks Minister Rattenbury for his effective work in the housing portfolio, and welcomes the opportunity to continue to work with him as Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Corrective Services, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Sport and Recreation.  In the corrective services portfolio, getting a justice reinvestment approach defined and implemented in the ACT is a top priority.

“Minister Burch leaves the children and young people’s portfolio having made significant progress on development of a better approach to working with children and families in the care and protection system, a very difficult and important change process.  ACTCOSS will enjoy continuing our dialogue with Minister Burch on how the needs, interests and opportunities of disadvantaged and vulnerable people in Canberra can be met in the portfolios of Education and Training, Disability, Multicultural Affairs, Racing and Gaming, Women and the Arts.

Ms Helyar concluded “The ACT Government continues to access experienced leadership from Chief Minister Gallagher and Attorney General Corbell in their portfolios. ACTCOSS will continue to raise our voice in ACT Government decision-making processes, to ensure the whole ACT Cabinet understands what is needed to build a fairer and equitable community”.

For more information or comment please contact
Susan Helyar, Director, on 0448 791 987.