National Cabinet met in Canberra today to discuss key national priorities, including energy and the health system.
Today all First Ministers, in recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the First Peoples of Australia, reaffirmed a commitment to working collaboratively to support a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament by signing a Statement of Intent.
National Cabinet agreed that Health is the first priority issue for 2023, and discussed the Strengthening Medicare Taskforce Report, which sets out a pathway to reform the primary care system.
National Cabinet noted recent practical steps undertaken to reform Australia’s health system including the Commonwealth’s $100 million investment in the Primary Care Pilots program and the rollout of Urgent Care Clinics.
National Cabinet noted an update by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority on their work program and the independent review of health practitioner regulatory settings.
First Ministers noted an update on recent agreements between the Commonwealth and states to progress critical transmission, renewable energy and storage projects to upgrade the energy grid and the National Energy Bill Relief Plan.
Closing the Gap
Ms Patricia Turner AM, the Lead Convener of the Coalition of Peaks, provided National Cabinet with an update on progress against the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. First Ministers noted their commitment to the implementation of the National Agreement, agreed to re-sign the National Agreement and agreed that the Coalition of Peaks would address meetings of state and territory Cabinets.
National Firearms Reform
Following the tragic events in Queensland last December National Cabinet received a briefing from Director-General, ASIO, Mike Burgess, and agreed principles for a nationally coordinated approach to the management of firearms. National Cabinet also tasked Police Ministers to report back to National Cabinet in mid-2023 with options to implement a National Firearms Register.
Australian Local Government Association
The President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), Councillor Linda Scott presented on national priorities for local government.
National Cabinet values the contribution of ALGA, and looks forward to continuing to work in partnership with local government.
First Ministers provided an update on work in their jurisdictions to improve housing outcomes and shared best practice and challenges.
The President of ALGA also discussed how local government can work collaboratively with the Commonwealth and states and territories to progress reforms under the Housing Accord.
The significant investment in housing highlights the shared ambition of governments to improve housing outcomes for all Australians.
National Cabinet remains committed to working together on national priorities and will meet again in late April 2023.
This media statement has been agreed by First Ministers and serves as a record of meeting outcomes.