Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Women’s budget statement: a better deal for Australian women

The 2008-09 Budget will mean women will share more equally in Australia’s prosperity.

The Government values the contribution Australian women make in our workplaces, homes and communities across the country. This Budget will secure Australia’s future and build a strong economy to deliver for women and their families.

As the frequent managers of household budgets, women have experienced first hand the impact of rising costs of living and global economic forces.

The 2008-09 Women’s Budget Statement highlights measures in the Budget that will assist women including a range of initiatives that will boost women’s safety and wellbeing; their economic security and that of their families.

Working mothers will receive a significant increase in take home pay as a result of tax and child care relief.

The Government is delivering on its commitment to improve women’s health with a number of initiatives including a $91.1 million boost in child and maternal health services over the next four years.

Australia’s carers are set to benefit from an $822 million package of measures to increase support and recognition of their vital economic and social role.

This Budget commits $3.7 billion over three years to implement a new integrated workforce participation system which will provide greater flexibility for providers to tailor services to better assist female job seekers.

The Government is implementing a National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Children which will work to achieve cultural and attitudinal change in relation to violence against women, develop Respectful Relationships resources for Australian high school students and tougher nationally consistent laws on domestic violence and sexual assault.

The Government is working to improve women’s economic security, including reducing the gender pay gap, through the phasing out of Work Choices and the work of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency.

The Government is resuming Australia’s place in the international community by commencing the assessment process required to ratify the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women.

The Rudd Government’s first Women’s Budget Statement delivers on our commitment to improve the lives of Australian women and their families.