The Government’s 2017-18 Budget will deliver significant outcomes for Australian women, recognising the key role women play in the economic and social fabric of our nation.
Ensuring women are economically empowered provides substantial benefits to women, families, business, communities and the economy, which is why the Turnbull Government is committed to delivering enhanced opportunities for women to participate in the workforce.
Building on the historic $2.5 billion additional investment in childcare, the Budget contains an additional contribution of almost $430 million to support universal access to pre-school for all four year olds.
This investment will provide children with a high quality early education while giving parents a greater opportunity to work.
Having been successfully trialled in 10 Local Government areas, the Turnbull Government has allocated $263 million to expand the innovative ParentsNext program across Australia from July 2018.
This investment will help reduce welfare-dependency amongst young parents, particularly women, by supporting them to plan and prepare for employment.
Importantly, in recognition that some vulnerable communities require additional support, the ParentsNext expansion will also focus on 20 new locations which have a high proportion of Indigenous recipients of Parenting Payment, to help vulnerable women participate in the workforce.
The Government will also help women across regional Australia enter the growing care sector by providing an additional $33 million to help disability and aged care providers grow their workforce.
This builds on the Government’s existing Launch into Work program which provides women with training, on the job experience, mentoring, and the guarantee of a real job at the end.
The Turnbull Government’s unrelenting focus on reducing violence against women and their children is reflected in this Budget.
The Budget includes an additional $39 million over the next three years for community legal centres which will be prioritised for frontline family law and domestic violence services.
The Government will also invest $3.4 million over two years to expand Specialist Domestic Violence Units which provide integrated, trauma-informed services to women and children escaping domestic violence.
This investment will be complemented by critically important measures to bolster the family law system.
Cases involving domestic violence will no longer facilitate the cross-examination of victims by alleged perpetrators.
Furthermore, a review of the family law system by the Australian Law Reform Commission will ensure it is meeting the needs of contemporary families now and into the future.
The Budget will also help ensure the continued health and wellbeing of Australian women, particularly in relation to providing safe and affordable cancer screening.
The Government is investing approximately $65 million over four years in the BreastScreen Australia Program, to ensure women aged 70 to 74 years can continue to have access to this vital screening service.
An additional $41.6 million has also been allocated over four years to the Victorian Cytology Service, to help with the detection of pre-cancerous cervical conditions.
The Turnbull Government’s 2017-18 Budget delivers real opportunities for Australian women.