Minister to visit France, UK and USA

Saturday, 16 January 2016

The Hon Stuart Robert MP

Minister for Veterans' Affairs

Minister for Human Services

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister for Human Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Stuart Robert, will depart tomorrow for a series of counterpart meetings in Europe and the United States of America to discuss innovative ways to improve information, communications and technology (ICT), and which will include a sod-turning ceremony at the site of the new Sir John Monash Centre in France.

Speaking before he left Australia, Mr Robert said the meetings would focus on the experiences of other countries in implementing wholesale public sector ICT reform.

“Technology is a key focus of this trip. Discussing how our international counterparts have upgraded and integrated their government ICT systems will be instructive as we undertake wholesale public sector ICT reform here in Australia,” Mr Robert said.

“As Minister for both Veterans’ Affairs and Human Services I am committed to ensuring the customer is at the centre of everything we do. These meetings provide an opportunity to share information and experiences that support the development and delivery of better programs for Australians.”

Mr Robert will discuss the Government’s new Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation Programme (WPIT) with his counterparts. WPIT will completely overhaul the Department of Human Services’ ageing social welfare ICT platform and will provide customers with faster, more connected digital services.

“This is critical national infrastructure that underpins the entire social security system, which delivers over $100 billion in payments each year,” Mr Robert said.

“The project has been developed following extensive consultation with international governments, private sector organisations, major ICT enterprises and lessons from similar technology transformations at home and abroad.”

While in France, Mr Robert will participate in a sod-turning ceremony at the site of the new Sir John Monash Centre. The Centre, named after General Sir John Monash who led the Australian Corps with outstanding success on the Western Front in 1918, will be the focal point of the existing Australian Remembrance Trail.

“With links to First World War sites of significance to Australia, the Sir John Monash Centre and the Australian Remembrance Trail will educate a new audience about Australia’s role on the Western Front battlefields and in so doing, provide a lasting legacy from the Centenary of Anzac,” Mr Robert said.

Media enquiries:
Richard Briedis (Minister Robert): 0477 391 174
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203
Department of Human Services Media: 0411 670 958

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS)
can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling.
Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546)