Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Gillard Government steps in to save Queensland Working Women’s Service

The Queensland Working Women’s Service (QWWS) will continue to provide an important service for working women thanks to an additional $200,000 in funding from the Australian Government.

The funding has been announced today by Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten and Minister for the Status of Women, Julie Collins.

The QWWS is a not-for-profit, community organisation with specialist workplace relations expertise. It provides a free and confidential service for women workers, or those who wish to work, who are not currently represented by a union or legal service.

“The Gillard Government recognises the importance of the vital services and advice the QWWS provides to some of Queensland’s most vulnerable workers,” Mr Shorten said.

“That is why we committed to fund the QWWS on an ongoing basis in the 2012 Budget.

“It is also why we will provide this additional funding after the ambush by the Newman Government who completely cut all state government funding to the QWWS without warning.”

The QWWS provides assistance and information where the Fair Work Ombudsman does not have jurisdiction to provide primary assistance to affected workers – that is, including for Queensland workers in the state industrial relations system.

Ms Collins said the additional Australian Government funding will be provided by the Office for Women.

“The Queensland Working Women’s Service provides advice and assistance to employees in Queensland who have difficulty asserting their workplace rights,” Ms Collins said.

“This funding is another example of the Gillard Government’s commitment to support women’s workforce participation across the country.

“It is in stark contrast to the slash and burn attitude of the Campbell Newman Government in Queensland, which continues to subject the community sector to massive funding cuts.

“The Gillard Government couldn’t stand by and risk this valuable service being lost to women in Queensland after its funding had been cut by the Newman state government.”

The QWWS provides services to groups including but not limited to women in home-based employment and low-paid work; with disability; in regional or remote areas; re-entering the workforce; or sole income earners. They also provide policy and advocacy services to government.

The QWWS also provides services for Indigenous employees.