Media Releases → 2024

MEDIA RELEASE

A Budget that works for women

SENATOR THE HON KATY GALLAGHER
Minister for Finance
Minister for Women
Minister for the Public Service
Senator for the ACT

Date: Wednesday, 15 May 2024

The Albanese Labor Government is putting women and gender equality at the centre of Australia’s economic plan and is making women’s lives safer, fairer and more equal.

The 2024-25 Budget makes key investments in women’s safety, economic security, health and measures that ensure women can take advantage of the opportunities of a future made in Australia.

This is the first Budget since the launch of the national strategy for gender equality - Working for Women. The Budget delivers investments across the Strategy’s five priority areas, building on Labor’s significant investment in women since the 2022 election.

The Albanese Government is committed to making women’s lives safer, fairer and more equal. When an economy works for women, it also works for all Australians. Supporting women’s safety requires investing in women’s economic equality, housing and health.

Our investments signal to Australia that we are serious about improving women’s lives and achieving gender equality in Australia.

We know there is still a lot of work to do, and this Budget and our future investments over the next decade will continue to invest in the priorities set out in Working for Women and ensure that this Government delivers real change for women.

The Women’s Budget Statement is released as part of the Budget papers on the Treasury Budget website.

Investing in women’s safety

Investments in the Budget bring total funding to support women’s safety and the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032 to over $3.4 billion since the Albanese Government was elected. This Budget provides:
•    $925.2 million over five years for the permanent Leaving Violence Program to deliver financial support for victim-survivors leaving a violent intimate partner relationship as well as support services for up to 12 weeks. 
•    $44.1 million in 2024–25 to support the National Legal Assistance Partnership and Family Violence Prevention Legal Services, including one-year indexation supplementation to the funding for Legal Aid Commissions, Community Legal Centres, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, and additional funding to address community legal sector pay disparity. 
•    $19.4 million over two years to establish a National Student Ombudsman to help to eradicate gender-based violence from universities. 
•    $18.7 million over four years to establish a National Higher Education Code to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence. 
•    $13.1 million in targeted investments to support refugee and migrant women, including funding for the Settlement Engagement and Transition Support program and to support for visa holders experiencing domestic and family violence. 
•    $11.7 million over two years to extend the First Nations Family Dispute Resolution pilot to support culturally safe family dispute resolution services. 
•    $6.5 million in 2024-25 for the Age Assurance Pilot to Protect Children from Harmful Online Content. 
The Government will also provide $9.6 million over five years to further support informed policy advice to Government to end gender-based violence. This includes:
•    $4.3 million to further build the evidence base on pathways into and out of perpetration of family, domestic and sexual violence. 
•    $3.9 million over four years for the Office for Women to support whole of government coordination and work with the Department of Social Services on the Government’s response to gender-based violence. 
•    $1.3 million for a rapid review of targeted prevention approaches to violence against women, with a panel of experts to provide advice to Government on preventing gender-based violence, including a focus on homicides. 
The Budget also directs $1 billion towards social housing for young people and women and children fleeing violence.

The resourcing for the Office for Women supports the Government’s commitment to strengthen the Office for Women.

Cost-of-living relief and support for women’s economic security

Labor’s cost of living tax cuts will provide greater tax relief to low- and middle-income taxpayers from 1 July 2024, who are disproportionately women. All 6.5 million women taxpayers will receive a tax cut in 2024–25, with an average benefit of around $1,650. This will increase the financial return from work and support participation.

In addition, the Government is rolling out a further $7.8 billion in cost of living relief in this Budget.

The 2024-25 Budget is providing additional support for women’s economic security through:
•    $1.1 billion over four years to pay superannuation on Government-funded Paid Parental Leave for parents of babies born or adopted on or after 1 July 2025. This measure will help to reduce the impact of parental leave on retirement incomes, with women currently retiring with 25 per cent less superannuation than men. 
•    $1.9 billion over five years to increase all Commonwealth Rent Assistance maximum rates by 10 per cent to help address rental affordability challenges, with 51 per cent of recipients being single women households. 
•    $239.7 million over five years to cap indexation of Higher Education Loan Program debt to the lower of the Consumer Price Index or Wage Price Index, and wiping around $3 billion in debt, benefiting women, who hold the majority of HELP debts. 

Valuing care

In recognition of the value the Government places on care, the 2024-25 Budget invests:
•    $427.4 million over four years to provide financial support to students on mandatory nursing (including midwifery), social work and teaching placements. This will support these majority female student cohorts at the same time as helping to address workforce shortages in key industries. 
•    $87.2 million over four years in initiatives to support, attract and retain aged care workers.   
•    The Government has committed to funding the final decision of the Fair Work Commission to increase the award wages of many aged care workers, a highly feminised industry; building on the $11.3 billion already provided for wage increases.  The Budget also includes a provision to deliver on the Government’s commitment to provide funding towards a wage increase for early childhood education and care workers, with details to be finalised following Fair Work Commission processes.  
•    $18.6 million over five years to modify the Carer Payment participation limits from 25 hours per week to 100 hours over a four-week period and other changes to reduce barriers to workforce participation for recipients, around 71 per cent of whom are women. 
•    $13.9 million to provide and improve parenting support through the Raising Children Network, the Fathering Project, and the Brave Foundation’s Supporting Expecting and Parenting Teens Program. 

A gender equal workforce for a future made in Australia

The Budget invests in making sure that all Australians have the opportunity to access the jobs and careers of the future, including through:
•    $38.2 million over eight years to support a thriving, skilled and diverse STEM workforce in response to the Pathway to Diversity in STEM Review, with the funding to scale up Women in STEM and science engagement programs. 
•    $55.6 million over four years to launch the Building Women’s Careers program to fund large-scale projects to support women to access training in clean energy and construction and help drive change in workplace cultures. 

Investing in Women’s Health

The 2024-25 Budget has over $160 million targeted to women’s health, including:
•    $56.5 million to implement the remaining recommendations from the MBS Review Taskforce – Participating Midwives report, to promote flexible, high quality and tailored maternity care. 
•    $49.1 million to introduce longer consultation items for patients with complex gynaecological conditions (such as suspected endometriosis). 
•    A dedicated $56.1 million Women’s Health Package comprising: 
o    $12.5 million over four years for National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations to provide free period products. 
o    $7 million over four years for support to women and their families who have suffered miscarriage and pregnancy loss. 
o    $6 million over four years for outreach healthcare in crisis accommodation to support women and children experiencing family, domestic and sexual violence. This also supports the Government’s investment in women’s safety initiatives. 
o    $6.7 million over two years from 2024-25 for strategies in participating maternity services and First Nations communities to prevent preterm and early term birth, and monitoring the National Stillbirth Action and Implementation Plan 2020-2030. 
o    $5.5 million over three years for the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare to develop a dataset on sexual and reproductive health. 
o    $5.2 million over three years to support placement costs for health professionals to undertake training to support access to long-acting reversible contraceptives. 
o    $5 million over two years from 2024-25 to continue delivery of the Every Moment Matters awareness campaign, to reduce the incidence of babies born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. 
o    $3.5 million over four years from 2024-25 to expand indemnity insurance for privately practicing midwives. 
o    $1.5 million over two years for a national audit of early pregnancy assessment service clinics. 
o    $1.2 million over two years to support placements for health practitioners to enrol in the Professional Development accredited course, Managing Menopause. 
o    $1.1 million over four years to develop an interactive contraception decision tree. 
o    $1 million over two years for a miscarriage data scoping study. 

Additional investments in women’s health include:

•    The PBS listing for abemaciclib (Verzenio®) to treat early breast cancer. 
•    $1.4 billion over thirteen years from 2024-25 through an updated Medical Research Future Fund ten-year Investment Plan, for research into health priorities  such as women’s health, including menopause, pregnancy loss and infertility. 

The Medicare Benefits Schedule Continuous Review Program will also consider the appropriateness of a number of MBS items to ensure that they support equitable and affordable access for Australian women.

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