Which level of government is responsible?

It is important to identify the appropriate target for your advocacy, position papers, submissions, etc. when addressing an issue.

Federal government responsibilities

  • Income support, including:
    • DSP (Disability Support Pension)
    • Jobseeker
    • Carer Payment and Carer Allowance
    • TPD insurance (Total and Permanent Disability)
  • NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme)
  • Aged Care
  • Primary health care, including:
    • Medicare (Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS))
      • Telehealth
      • Home visits
    • Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
  • Clinical guidelines
  • Research funding:
    • NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council)
    • MRFF (Medical Research Future Fund)
  • TGA (Theraputic Goods Agency) and ATAGI (Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation)

State government responsibilities

  • Public hospitals
  • Public dental clinics
  • Mental health
    • Community and mental health services
    • Mental Health Act (Involuntary commitment and treatment)
  • Ambulance and emergency services, including patient transport subsidies
  • Disability access and inclusion (DAI) policies and structural change
  • Tier 2 disability support services (i.e. other than NDIS)


  • Primary health networks (PHNs) coordinate primary health care in their region. They operate regionally but are federally funded.
    • HealthPathways (clinical guidance for health professionals)
  • Local Health Networks (LHNs) are responsible for a group of local hospitals, or an individual hospital, linking services within a region. They operate regionally but are state funded.

Local government responsibilities

  • Disability access and inclusion (DAI) implementation
  • Community services


Check whether a major advocacy group has already prepared an action which you can join or reinforce, such as: Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF), ACOSS, SACOSS.

Last edited: 23 June, 2022