Delivering for women
The Palaszczuk Government is building a stronger Queensland by creating jobs and driving industry growth whilst keeping Queenslanders healthy and safe. This vision for Queensland can only be achieved if all Queenslanders have opportunities to fully and equally participate in all aspects of Queensland life – this includes women and girls.
Since 2015 the Palaszczuk Government has proudly invested in women’s programs, services and strategies, reinforcing the government’s commitment to achieving gender equality, including by:
- Building economic security - $420M to assist disadvantaged Queenslanders, including women aged 15 years and over, through the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative
- Improving safety - $328.9M - to implement the recommendations from the Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland report, with an investment over six years from 2015-16
- Sustaining families - $253.4M to provide Queenslanders with vital family support services including counselling, pregnancy and parenting support services
In 2018-19 the Palaszczuk Government will continue to invest in areas where persistent issues prevent women and girls from fully taking part in society, including by:
- Encouraging active lifestyles - $15M to deliver the Female Facilities Program, providing inclusive change rooms and amenities to support female participation in sport and recreation
- Enhancing domestic and family violence (DFV) services - $14.2M to establish new DFV services and continue to fund and enhance existing DFV services including: counselling and support services; court-based support; sexual assault services; health and wellbeing services; and telephone services
- Supporting research and business leaders - $6.5M to develop and deliver the new Female Founders and Researchers program, with investment over three years to support women to start and grow their businesses.
Participation and leadership
Increasing women’s participation and leadership is good for all Queenslanders. Organisations with gender-balance in leadership and within the workforce perform better financially, access the widest talent and skill pool, and are able to be more responsive to clients and stakeholders.
Under the Advance Queensland initiative, $6.5 million will be invested over three years to develop and deliver the new Female Founders and Researchers program, supporting Queensland’s female founders to start and grow their businesses and remain connected to their industries. This program builds on the success of the Advance Queensland Women’s Academic Fund.
Women and girls will continue to be encouraged and supported to take up STEM careers, through continuing initiatives such as the $120,000 STEM Girl Power Camp. Since 2016, these camps have engaged 138 girls from diverse backgrounds in a range of exciting STEM experiences. The Women in STEM competition will again be supported in 2018-2019 as part of the World Science Festival in March 2019. These awards have already engaged over 130 women since 2016. $357,000 will also be invested in the Engaging Science Grants program. Since launching in August 2016, a total of $931,473 in grants has been allocated to 98 recipients, and more than 70 per cent of award recipients have been women.
The successful Queensland Women’s Week will again be supported in 2018-19 to celebrate the contributions of Queensland women. Since the week was established in 2016, more than $450,000 has been awarded to 163 organisations to deliver Queensland Women’s Week events, activities and initiatives.
The Queensland Government will continue to recognise the important work of women in male-dominated industries, including through supporting initiatives like the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award, the Annual Queensland Women in Fire and Emergency Services Awards, and the Women in Planning Leadership Award.
The Palaszczuk Government’s successful Toward Gender Parity: Women on Boards initiative will continue to be supported in 2018-19 as part of a $600,000 investment since 2016-17.
The initiative is showing strong results in improving women’s representation on government, industry and community boards. From July 2015 (when the gender diversity targets were established) the number of women serving on Queensland Government bodies has risen from 31 per cent to 45 per cent, as at 31 March 2018. We know the initiative represents a smart investment as according to research by Deloitte Access Economics, reaching gender parity on Queensland boards will deliver $87 million per annum in productivity gains without any additional workers or hours worked.
Representation of women on Queensland Government bodies
- July 2015 - 31%
- March 2018 - 45%
- Target: 50%
In 2018-19, the Palaszczuk Government will continue to invest in assisting Queensland women and girls to access education and training, succeed in the workplace and achieve economic security.
Women in business
Under the Advance Queensland initiative, Queenslanders will continue to be supported to start up and expand business enterprises. 2018-19 will see the continued roll out of $12 million over three years for the Advancing Small Business Queensland Strategy 2016-20 grants program, including Small Business Entrepreneur Grants, Small Business Digital Grants and Accelerate Small Business Grants. Since establishing this initiative, 375 small business grants have been awarded to Queensland women and 321 women have received career guidance through the Mentoring for Growth program. $400,000 has been allocated in 2018-19 to deliver the Advancing Women in Business industry partnership program.
Women in the workplace
The Queensland Government will continue to support women, who are often lower paid and more likely to be in insecure work arrangements, by providing skilling programs and creating pathways into the workplace. The Back to Work program, which has already supported over 5,500 women since July 2016, will continue to be supported in 2018-19.
In 2018-19, $80 million will be available under the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative to assist disadvantaged Queenslanders, including women aged 15 years and over. From 1 July 2015 to 30 April 2018, over 14,800 women received assistance through this initiative, with 6,043 securing ongoing employment, 1,966 pursuing further training and 239 returning to school.
Young women transitioning from state care will be supported to enter higher education with $217,000 in 2018-19 for the Care2Achieve program, as part of a $1.2 million investment over five years (2017-2021). More than 60 young women are currently studying either university or TAFE courses through the Care2Achieve program.
In 2018-19 over $230,000 will be invested in supporting the Working Women Queensland program delivered through Basic Rights Queensland, and the Queensland Government will continue to deliver the Women’s Infolink service. Since July 2015, Women’s Infolink has received over 226,116 requests for information and referral support.
In 2018-19, the Queensland Government will continue to prioritise employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders through the Moving Ahead strategy. $2.3 million will be invested in Indigenous girls (Years 7-12) programs to encourage young Indigenous women to remain at school and actively engage in education until the completion of Year 12.
The Palaszczuk Government will also recognise increases to award rates for the social and community services workforce, which comprises more than 75 per cent women, by providing $137.7 million over four years, including $29.3 million in 2018-19.
Reducing financial pressures
The Queensland Government is responding to the financial pressures on Queenslanders. This includes implementation of the $2 billion Affordable Energy Plan, and through over $5.5 billion in concessions in 2018-19.
Queenslanders are also receiving support through the Queensland Financial Inclusion Plan. Continued investment in 2018-19 will include $6.5 million for the Better Budgeting initiative, providing Queenslanders with ongoing access to financial counsellors and financial resilience workers.
The Queensland Government is taking positive steps to achieve gender equality
Queensland's greatest natural resource is its people. Giving every Queenslander the opportunity to achieve is a key goal of the Palaszczuk Government. Whilst there have been many advancements for women globally and in Queensland, persistent barriers continue to prevent women and girls from fully participating in society.
The Palaszczuk Government developed the Queensland Women’s Strategy 2016-2021 in partnership with Queensland businesses and communities. The strategy aims to unite Queenslanders to address these persistent barriers across four priority areas: participation and leadership, economic security, safety and health and wellbeing.
All Queenslanders have the right to live free from the fear of violence and be safe in public and at home.
Tackling domestic and family violence
Women are disproportionately impacted by domestic and family violence (DFV). Addressing DFV and reducing its incidence will have a positive impact on women. In the 2018-19 Budget, increased funding of $8.1 million over four years will be invested to expand the Townsville Specialist DFV Court to include criminal DFV matters. This builds on the $69.5 million investment announced in the 2017-18 Budget to rollout specialist DFV courts.
This brings the Palaszczuk Government's investment to implement the recommendations of the Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland report to $328.9 million over six years from 2015-16. The Palaszczuk Government has already completed 90 of the 121 recommendations directed at government, with work on the remaining 31 underway.
In 2018-19, the Queensland Government will invest over $7 million to construct new and replacement shelters for women and children escaping DFV, including $3.5 million for two new women's shelters in Caboolture and in the Gold Coast area.
The Queensland Government will enhance integrated responses to DFV by establishing new High Risk Teams (HRT) in Mackay and Moreton Bay in 2018-19, and continuing to operate established HRTs in Logan/Beenleigh, Mount Isa, Cherbourg, Brisbane, Ipswich and Cairns with an investment of $8.7 million in 2018-19.
New DFV services will be established and existing services will continue to be funded and enhanced to address service gaps with $14.2 million in 2018-19, including counselling and support services, court-based support, sexual assault services, women’s health and wellbeing services, telephone services, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specific services. Statewide telephone service DVConnect will receive an additional $350,000 in 2018-19.
The Queensland Government is also working to keep Queenslanders safe at work, including developing a DFV package for workplaces to adopt so they can strengthen support for employees affected by DFV.
In addition, 19 Queensland Government agencies have White Ribbon workplace accreditation, with all departments due to become accredited by 2019. These actions demonstrate the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to prevent and respond to DFV and create workplace cultures of respect, safety and gender equality.
Eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls is critical to ensuring their safety. The Palaszczuk Government is investing $10.1 million in sexual assault services in 2018-19, implementing and refreshing the Queensland Violence against Women Prevention Plan 2016-2022, and implementing actions under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.
Australia’s first on-site 24/7 social work service in a hospital emergency department will continue to be funded in 2018-19 with $756,286. Between 2016 and March 2018, approximately 570 victims of sexual assault accessed the acute sexual assault social work service, and approximately 470 victims of DFV received the emergency and trauma centre social work service.
Female victims navigating the legal system will continue to be supported in 2018-19 with $3.3 million for women’s legal services. Legal Aid Queensland will be supported with $559,000 of $1.6 million over four years to provide services to victims seeking to prevent disclosure of private counselling sessions under Queensland’s new sexual assault counselling privilege.
In 2018-19, the Queensland Government will invest $4.5 million to continue to provide support to victims of elder abuse by funding Seniors Legal and Support Services and the Elder Abuse Prevention Unit. These services are vital in supporting Queensland’s older generation. Women constitute over 69 per cent of victims of elder abuse reported to the Helpline.
Health and wellbeing
The Palaszczuk Government's goal is for all Queensland women and girls to be healthy, well and active.
Women’s health services
Queensland women and girls will continue to receive the health care they need to support the prevention and treatment of women related health issues.
Breast cancer screening services will continue to be funded in 2018-19 with $44.2 million. Over 754,000 Queensland women have been screened for breast cancer since 2015.
Health services will be strengthened with $5.1 million in 2018-19 as part of the continued implementation of the North Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sexually Transmissible Infections Action Plan 2016-21. This initiative is already achieving increased sexual health awareness, education and training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders, as well as undertaking efforts to increase STI screening during antenatal care.
Women who have experienced DFV or sexual violence will be supported to improve their health and wellbeing and connection with family and community through $5.3 million in 2018-19 for counselling and case management support.
Maternal health services
The Queensland Government will continue to deliver world leading maternal health services to Queensland women.
$6 million will once again be invested in 2018-19 to expand paediatric retrieval services, including the NeoRESQ program.
Over 1,200 sick newborns have been retrieved and brought to Brisbane for specialist paediatric treatment since the NeoRESQ program was established in 2017.
The Queensland Government will continue to partner with Quitline to assist pre-natal women quit smoking through the Quit for You…Quit for Baby program. Since 2016, a total of 695 women, of which approximately 20 per cent identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, have accessed the tailored support service, with 56 per cent having stopped smoking at the completion of the program.
Queensland families will continue to be supported in 2018-19 with over $96.3 million for family support services, including counselling, pregnancy and parenting support services.
Healthy and active lifestyles
The Queensland Government will continue to invest in providing opportunities for women to lead healthy and active lifestyles.
In 2018-19, $15 million will be invested in the delivery of the Female Facilities Program to support female participation in sport and recreation. Female achievements in the sport and recreation industry will be acknowledged, with $8,000 for the Start Playing Stay Playing Excellence Awards.
Women will continue to be encouraged to enter male dominated sports, including through funding for the development of local sporting infrastructure.