We were promised a budget that would be “good for women” and labour has delivered several measures that whilst not specifically just for women, certainly help to move towards a more level playing field. Labour has dedicated funds to several initiatives aimed at enhancing safety, economic security and the health and wellbeing of women and girls. But how much of this is designed to specifically help females, or is just a coincidence?

Breaking down the labour spend showcased in their women’s statement we have a mix of ‘for women’ and ‘for everyone’ measures:


superannuation on paid parental leave

A measure that’s been a long time coming, superannuation will finally be paid on top of Commonwealth paid parental leave, boosting support for new mothers, and helping to narrow the gender gap in super balances. We will however have to wait until the 2025-26 financial year for this to kick in if passed.


continued support for domestic violence

  • The budget has allowed for a $1 billion investment via the National Housing Infrastructure Facility to be used specifically for crises and transition accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic violence and for youth.
  • Victim-survivors under the government’s new Leaving Violence Program will be able to access an indexed $5,000 in financial assistance along with 12 weeks of additional support services. The government has allocated $925.2 million to this initiative with the program aimed to be fully operational by mid-2025. This program extends support to migrants regardless of their visa status.
  • $109.9 million will be allocated over 2 years to the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission to support better information sharing with state and territory law enforcement agencies including those relating to domestic violence protection orders.


support for women’s health

  • $56.1 million has been allocated to support women’s sexual and reproductive health initiatives. This includes free period products for remote Indigenous communities and better menopause care through GP training.
  • Already announced and reconfirmed is the $49.1 million to go towards providing longer consultations for complex gynaecologic conditions including endometriosis, along with access to early stage breast cancer treatment’s via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme [PBS] expansion.


tax cuts

The pre-announced stage 3 tax cuts are focused at low and middle-income earners [where women are unfortunately disproportionally represented], and are here for Australian taxpayers regardless of gender.


university debt relief

The $3 billion in student debts that are earmarked for erasure will apparently benefit women… I assume because some students are women?


wage increases in care sectors

A multi-billion-dollar provision is allocated to wage increases directed towards aged care and childcare workers, which is another measure not specific to women, but relevant to industries with a higher proportion of female workers. These measures have come from fair work decisions and not specifically a labour budget initiative, so let’s not give them too much credit!


supporting women’s careers in male-dominated industries

As part of the Future Made in Australia program $55.6 million will be allocated to specifically supporting an increase of female representation in the currently male dominated sectors of clean energy and advanced manufacturing… looks like the government has realised they need women on the bus to meet their targets under this program.


in conclusion

Whilst there are some really big items here, there is again some confusion between a budget for women, and a budget for society, or families. The tax cuts that we have known about for some time are good for everyone not just women [too bad they aren’t as good as initially planned]. Let’s not forget the absolute nonsense inclusion on the list of University Debt relief. Just because 58.5% of outstanding debt is held by women, it’s been included in the women’s statement [scraping the bottom of the barrel with this one, Chalmers].

These items, along with a myriad of others, are included in the women’s statement it seems simply because women as part of the population will receive a benefit. Next they’ll try telling us that the $50billion to be spent on defence is for women because there are women in the country that will be safer with a more cashed up armed forces to protect them.

The problem with this approach of including measures that just by happenstance help women, is that it distracts from the truly good items here. Superannuation on Paid Parental Leave is an actual step towards closing the gender wealth gap and providing greater security for women in retirement. The governments’ spend on the safety of women by focusing on anti-domestic violence measures and victim-survivor support, whilst not enough, does acknowledge the government takes this crisis seriously.

These measures should be seen as a win for women and will hopefully lay the groundwork for future budgets to expand on this years’ commitments.

want to know how the budget will impact business owners?

Check out our key takeaways for business owners ‘mixed bag budget’ blog.

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