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Review of Federal Welfare System

1 July 2014

In December 2013, the Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Kevin Andrews MP, commissioned a review of Australia’s welfare system.

The stated aim of the Review was “to identify improvements to ensure the social support system is sustainable, effective and coherent, and encourages people to work”.

An independent Reference Group was appointed by the Minister to lead a review of Australia’s welfare system comprising Mr Patrick McClure AO as the Chair of the Reference Group and its other members were Ms Sally Sinclair and Mr Wesley Aird.

The Reference Group’s Interim Report A New System for Better Employment and Social Outcomes was released for public and stakeholder comment on 29 June 2014.

The submission process is open until Friday, 8 August 2014 and will inform the development of the Reference Group’s Final Report to the Minister for Social Services.

The Interim Report

In its Interim Report, the Reference Group proposes four pillars of reform that focus on employment outcomes as the first priority, supported by improved social outcomes.

The four reform pillars are: a simpler and sustainable income support system; strengthening individual and family capacity; engaging with employers; and building community capacity.

Throughout, the report lists questions on which it seeks comment.

(The main dot points set out under each pillar in the overview document are provided in the Appendix to this notice.)

Public submissions and comments on the Interim Report have been invited.

The Department of Social Services (DSS) advise that submissions can be a short statement outlining your views on a specific topic, or a more substantial document that addresses the future directions presented in the Interim Report. Where possible, you should provide evidence and relevant data to support your views.

MS Australia is interested to hear the views of the MS community on the Interim Report.

The Interim Report can be found at:

(warning: the full report is 176 pages long so you might not want to print it!)

You can contribute to this Review in one of two ways:

  1. Send your submission if you prefer, directly to the DSS, by 8 August 2014 at:

Or post to:

Welfare Review
C/- Welfare System Taskforce
Department of Social Services
PO Box 7576
Canberra Business Centre ACT 2610

You can also make a brief comment on the Interim Report (500 words or less) at:



  1. Send your personal story to MS Australia, by Friday 25 July 2014, and we will use it to inform our submission.  We may use your story in full or quotes from it, but we will identify you only by your first name and location, e.g. Sarah, Adelaide.

Send your story to us at MS Australia by email to