Queensland Government media release
The Queensland Government today released the Women’s Budget Statement in recognition of the important contribution of women to the state’s economic future.
Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman released the Women’s Budget Statement at the ANROWS National Symposium on Child Protection and Domestic Violence at the Brisbane Convention Centre.
Ms Fentiman said the statement was a key document outlining the initiatives contained in the 2017-18 State Budget for Queensland women, following on from last year’s statement which was the first since 1997.
“Releasing a Women’s Budget Statement demonstrates the Palaszczuk Government is committed to equality for women,” Ms Fentiman said.
“Ours is the first Government to release a Women’s Budget Statement in over 20 years and this is an important recognition of the contribution that women make to the Queensland economy.”
“Queensland women continue to face gender inequality that prevents them from participating fully in society and the economy,” Ms Fentiman said.
“The gender pay gap in Queensland is still unacceptably high at more than 16 per cent, although better than the 18 per cent gap of the previous year.
“This is a sobering reminder of why we must remain vigilant and focussed on economic opportunity and government services for women.
“Our commitment to presenting a Women’s Budget Statement is in stark contrast to the approach of the Turnbull Federal Government, which has continued to avoid producing a women’s budget analysis, doing away with the 30-year tradition of releasing a women’s impact statement with the Federal Budget.
“This comes at a time when Women are still vastly underrepresented in leadership positions, particularly on management boards, despite being more likely to attain tertiary education.
“Women’s increased participation in the workplace and leadership roles is better for the economy. We are making progress in this area and will continue to work with business and the community sector and within government to improve opportunities for women.
“The 2017-18 State Budget recognises increases to award rates for the social and community services workforce, which comprises more than 75 per cent women, by providing $137 million over four years.
“No society can achieve its full economic potential without the full engagement of women – not just in political life, but across the community sector, in business and industry.”
The Queensland Government has committed continued investment of $43.1 million over four years for new and enhanced domestic and family violence services including counselling and support services for victims.
“We are continuing to operate the specialist domestic and family violence court at Southport and rolling out similar courts in Beenleigh and Townsville, including circuit courts to Mount Isa and Palm Island, through an investment of $69.5 million,” she said.
“There is also $3.4 million over three years for two new women’s shelters in areas of high demand in south-east Queensland. This is in addition to a capital investment of $3.5 million in 2017-18 by the Department of Housing and Public Works.”
Ms Fentiman said the government’s financial resilience package was helping women to be financially independent.
“This is not paying lip-service. This is about recognising Queensland women and the contribution they make to this great state with policies that are pro-women and that specifically address some of the issues women still face in our society,” she said.
“For example, we will keep educating women on financial literacy by continuing to fund financial counselling, emergency relief and Good Money stores.”
Ms Fentiman said improving women’s participation in the economy was not just the right thing to do – it was smart economics.
“We need to tackle gender inequality and the gender pay-gap head-on and that means leading the way with policies that are inclusive and that provide leadership on the way forward.
“Our Women’s Budget Statement delivers on this commitment.”
The Queensland Women’s Budget Statement is available online at: www.communities.qld.gov.au/women