The economic security, and health and wellbeing of Queensland women, was again at the front of the Palaszczuk Government agenda with the release of the 2021-22 Women’s Budget Statement.
Attorney-General and Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman said when women and girls are supported and encouraged to fully participate in all aspects of society, the economy and state are strengthened.
“Now more than ever, Queensland women are looking to the Government to invest in programs and services which address inequality, promote respect, and support them to contribute and achieve across a range of fields and industries,” Minister Fentiman said.
“We are seeing Queensland women, we are investing in their safety, their health, their success and their economic inclusion.”
Women’s safety was a key priority of the Palaszczuk Government with an investment of more than $155 million in tackling violence against women.
“The 2021-22 Women’s Budget Statement builds on the government’s previous investments and aims to improve the lives of women and girls right across Queensland.
“This Budget is all about delivering and supporting a range of initiatives to put women front and centre of the economic recovery.
“We are delivering $800,000 over three years to Working Women’s Queensland to continue to provide free advice, advocacy and referral services on work-related issues, and to support women who are entering or re-entering the workforce.
“And we are continuing to help women and girls be job ready with $320 million over four years for Skilling Queenslanders for Work, and up to $140 million over four years for a revitalised Back to Work program.
“These programs have been a huge success, with more than 31,000 women benefiting from Skilling Queenslanders for Work, and more than 10,600 women supported into employment through the Back to Work program.”
Minister Fentiman said she was proud of the work the Queensland Government has done to date in keeping Queensland women safe, however there was more work to do.
“Since 2015, the Queensland Government has committed more than $600 million in programs, services and strategies to address domestic, family and sexual violence,” Minister Fentiman said.
“However, we are still seeing the tragic and devastating impact domestic and family violence has across our communities.
“We know that almost one in 10 women in a relationship has experienced domestic violence during the COVID crisis.
“That is why this budget continues to take action, with $30 million over four years to boost services supporting victims of domestic, family and sexual violence across the state.
“We have ensured the funding was made immediately available to help existing services meet demand in the short term.
“This funding is in addition to the $7.5 million provided in 2019-20 to address emerging issues and demand related to the impacts of COVID-19.
“And over the next four years, the Government is providing $20 million to expand domestic and family violence housing support services.”
In 2021-22, the Budget delivers:
- More than $138 million to respond to domestic family and sexual violence including counselling and crisis responses, perpetrator interventions, court support, shelters and mobile support, awareness and prevention and sexual assault support
- $8.1 million to continue and enhance specialist domestic and family violence courts
- $3.5 million to enhance the capability of Community Justice Groups in 18 discrete Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities to address domestic and family violence through the development and implementation of culturally appropriate local responses
- $670,000 to continue the provision of legal advice and representation to sexual assault victims and counsellors, who seek to prevent disclosure of counselling communications in court
- Funding to continue sexual assault service reform in Queensland Health to improve state-wide coverage of compassionate, person-centred care services for adult victims of sexual assault through enhanced leadership, training, and procedures
- Over $60 million in breast cancer screening services
- $7.7 million for perinatal and infant health services across Queensland