2019-20 Budget

Backing Jobs for Women

The Palaszczuk Government is building a stronger Queensland by creating  new jobs, growing new industries, building better infrastructure, and delivering high-quality frontline services. Everyone benefits when women and girls fully participate and contribute to all aspects of Queensland society.

Since 2015 the Palaszczuk Government has proudly invested in programs, services and strategies for women and girls to advance gender equality, including:

  • Improving workforce participation - $420M to assist disadvantaged Queenslanders, including women aged 15 years and over, into work through the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.
  • Ensuring better safety - $328.9M to implement the recommendations from the report Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland, 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, including $9 million for the Birthing in Our Community program.

In 2019-20 the Palaszczuk Government will continue to invest in areas where women and girls continue to experience challenges, disadvantage and gender inequality, including:

  • Ensuring safety - $17.3M to deliver new and enhanced domestic and family violence and sexual assault support services, including counselling and support services, and court-based support.
  • Providing culturally responsive maternal, parenting and child health services - $7.6M to deliver maternal, parenting and child health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, including strengthening the Indigenous workforce in maternity services and supporting culturally capable continuity of care.
  • Encouraging active lifestyles - $7M to complete the delivery of improved female sport and recreation facilities under the Female Facilities Program.

Women of the world in Queensland

The Palaszczuk Government recognises and celebrates the contributions of women and girls, both locally and internationally, and is investing $1.6 million for Queensland to continue as host of the successful Women of the World (WOW) Festival for three years from 2020.

The WOW Festival celebrates women's and girls' achievements and builds networks of women from all backgrounds and circumstances to come together to create change. More than 5,000 people attended the WOW Festival when it was held in Queensland in 2018 as part of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Starting in the United Kingdom in 2010 to mark the centenary of International Women's Day, WOW is now one of the biggest festivals of women and girls in the world being held in 30 countries on five continents.

The WOW Festival helps educate young people and visitors to Queensland about the importance of gender equality. The Government's investment, announced during Queensland Women's Week 2019, will help position Queensland as a leader of gender equality in the Southern Hemisphere and the Asia-Pacific region.

Participation and leadership

The Palaszczuk Government's investment in participation and leadership opportunities will continue in 2019–20 to ensure that Queensland women and girls participate fully and equally in society and as leaders in the community, politics and business..

Recognising women's achievements

The Queensland community will continue to celebrate Queensland Women's Week in 2019–20. The Palaszczuk Government has awarded more than $600,000 to more than 226 organisations to celebrate the diversity and contribution of Queensland women and girls since the establishment of Queensland Women's Week in 2016.

Supporting female innovators

Queensland's female entrepreneurs and researchers of tomorrow will continue to be supported through the Female Founders Program and Women's Research Assistance Program and Women's Research Assistance Program. As part of the Advance Queensland program, $6.5 million is being invested over four years from 2018–19 to support women to grow and succeed in their career.

The Palaszczuk Government will continue to encourage and support women and girls to take up STEM careers and employment in other male-dominated industries. The Engaging Science Grants program to date has awarded $740,627 to 78 female recipients who were provided with STEM education activities and training.

An annual contribution of $120,000 in the STEM Girl Power Initiative since 2016–17 has supported 197 girls and 30 teachers from diverse backgrounds to engage in a range of STEM experiences. The Queensland Women in STEM Prize will again be supported in 2019–20 as part of the annual World Science Festival Brisbane in 2020. This competition has engaged 187 women since 2016.

Increasing women leaders

As a result of the Palaszczuk Government's highly successful Toward Gender Parity: Women on Boards initiative, the number of women serving on Queensland Government bodies has risen from 31 per cent in July 2015 (when the gender diversity targets were established) to 48 per cent as at 31 March 2019.

Representation of women on Queensland Government bodies

  • July 2015 - 31%
  • March 2019 - 48%
  • Target - 50%

Economic security

The Palaszczuk Government's goal is for all Queensland women and girls to achieve financial independence and economic security across their life. We will continue to support investment in job creation and industry growth in 2019–20 that will benefit Queensland women and girls.

Supporting women's workforce participation

Skilling Queenslanders for Work supports a broad range of people aged 15 years and over into work, including Queensland women.

As at 30 April 2019, 20,940 women have participated. In 2019-20, $80 million will be available to assist at least 10,000 disadvantaged Queenslanders, including women.

Currently, the participation rate for women across all Skilling Queenslanders for Work programs is 52 per cent.

The Palaszczuk Government's $383 million Back to Work program will continue to support employers who hire eligible unemployed jobseekers, with payments of up to $20,000 available for eligible full-time employees in regional Queensland and areas of South East Queensland.

Since 2016, almost 8,000 women have been supported into employment. In 2019-20, increased funding of up to $14 million over two years will be available to continue the program.

In 2019-20, Queensland's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women will continue to be assisted to complete their studies and have an economically independent future.

A $6.9 million investment over four years from 2017-18 will deliver the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Girls Engagement Program for female students to remain in school and
actively engage in education.

The program operates across 19 schools in Queensland. The Government has also provided $750,000 over three years from 2018-19 to run the Girls Academy program for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to remain in school until the completion of Year 12. A Girls Academy opened at Murgon State High School in 2018-19 and will extend to Cherbourg State School and Murgon State School in 2019-20. These programs will help up to 1,100 female Indigenous students each year in State schools.


The Palaszczuk Government is committed to a safe and respectful community, free from all forms of violence. This includes Queensland women and girls being safe and secure and having access to legal and justice services.

Putting a stop to domestic and family violence

The Palaszczuk Government has invested more than $328.9 million over six years from 2015-16 to implement the recommendations from the Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland report. The Government has rolled out $10.3 million in funding over four years from 2016–17 for men's behaviour change programs. In 2019–20, $1.2 million over two years will also be invested in a program to engage boys in preventing violence against women and girls.

The Government will invest $1.5 million from 2019–20 to fund initiatives that address the impact of domestic and family violence (DFV) on people with disabilities, including an awareness campaign, and education and training.

The Government has also developed Queensland's Framework for Action – Reshaping our Approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Domestic and Family Violence. Funding of more than $1.5 million will support implementation of the framework in 2019–20 and 2020–21.

With more than $69.5 million invested in specialist DFV courts across Queensland since 2017, the Palaszczuk Government continues to strengthen the justice system response. The Government is committed to ongoing funding in 2019–20, with specialist DFV courts to be rolled out in Beenleigh, Townsville, Mount Isa and Palm Island.

More than $670,000 has been invested over four years since 2016 in the professional training of Queensland magistrates to ensure they are equipped to consider the complexity of DFV issues in matters of justice, and the impacts on adult victims and children.

The Government has committed $27.4 million for enhanced integrated responses to DFV through High Risk Teams (HRT) across Queensland over four years from 2016–17. In 2019–20, $8.9 million will be available to support the continued operation of established HRTs in Logan-Beenleigh, Cherbourg, Mount Isa, Ipswich, Cairns, Mackay, Brisbane and Caboolture.

Challenging gendered violence

Commencing in 2016-17, more than $43.1 million over four years has been rolled out to fund new and enhanced DFV and sexual assault support services, including counselling and support services, court-based support, health and wellbeing, and phone services. In 2019-20, $17.3 million will be available to establish and enhance services.

In 2019-20, the Palaszczuk Government will invest $5 million to continue providing support to victims of elder abuse. This includes funding the seniors legal and support services, and the Elder Abuse Prevention Unit.

These services are vital in supporting Queensland's seniors. Women constitute 68 per cent of victims reported to the elder abuse helpline.

In 2019-20, older women will continue to be supported through the Older People's Social Isolation programs that help increase older people's awareness of healthy lifestyle options, reduce social isolation and improve links with other agencies and their community.

Supporting women for safer and more affordable housing

The Palaszczuk Government will continue to ensure women and girls access adequate and safe housing, assisting 66,660 women and girls with Government owned and managed public housing as at 30 April 2019. In 2017- 18, 23,312 women and girls were assisted by Specialist Homelessness Services. 15,367 women and girls have been assisted by Specialist Homelessness Services in the first six months of the 2018-19 financial year.

In 2019-20, older women will continue to be supported through the Advancing Queensland Age-Friendly Community Grants program, with $1 million available for grants of up to $100,000 for innovative projects to improve social participation and communication and information for older Queenslanders.

The Women on Parole (Next Step Home) pilot is the Queensland Government's $3.5 million investment from 2017-18 to 2019-20 to deliver a coordinated housing and support initiative for women on parole in South East Queensland and North Queensland which started in January 2018. Of the total investment, in 2019-20 $1.8 million is allocated to continue this project.

Supporting safety of vulnerable women

Commencing in 2018–19, the Palaszczuk Government is investing $7.9 million over three years to rehabilitate women in the custodial system, with a specific focus on addressing issues related to trauma, DFV and sexual violence.

Through its investment of more than $5 million over three years from 2018–19, the Government will continue to assist women to transition from prison into the community including through the South East Queensland Women's Re-entry Services, re-entry support to women in northern Queensland Women's Correctional Centre, and Supreme Court Bail Program delivered to Brisbane Women's, Southern Queensland, Numinbah and Townsville Women's Correctional Centres.

The Women's Infolink service will continue to be delivered in 2019-20. Since July 2015, Women's Infolink has received 278,597 requests (as at 24 May 2019) for information and support.

Gendered Response to Bail Support Service

The Gendered Response to Bail Support Service is a $1.3 million Palaszczuk Government investment over two-and-a-half years from 2018–19, as part of a $17.1 million fund for Legal Advocacy and Bail Support Services. Priority service users are girls and young women aged 10-17 years who are at a very high risk of being remanded into custody. As at April 2019, the service has supported 97 girls and young women.

Health and wellbeing

The Palaszczuk Government's goal is for all Queensland women and girls to be healthy, well and active.

High-quality women's health services

Since 2016, the Queensland Government has invested $6.9 million in breast cancer screening services. These services will continue to be funded in 2019-20.

More than 1,800 women have participated in the BreastScreen Queensland Remote Radiology Telehealth Assessment Trial in regional areas. A statewide survey to assess the needs of women will also be implemented, targeting under-screened women, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and women with a disability. Approximately 1.1 million breast screens have been performed for breast cancer since 2015.

In 2019–20, more than $3.7 million will support women and girls with eating disorders as part of a five-year investment of $11.1 million from 2016–17, which includes establishing a second specialist adult eating disorder hub in North Queensland.

In 2019–20, $4.3 million will be provided for the Queensland Pelvic Mesh Service to assist women experiencing complications from surgical mesh devices. The service is expected to provide support to around 120 women per year.

Outreach health services for Queensland women and girls in rural and remote communities will continue with funding of $2 million in 2019–20 for the Mobile Women's Health Service. The service helps women who may be geographically or socially isolated, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, and women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Maternal health services

In 2019–20, $7.5 million will fund perinatal and infant health services across Queensland, as part of a five-year, $31.2 million investment to respond to the mental health needs of women, their partners and infants during the perinatal period.

Culturally appropriate maternal, parenting and child health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women will continue to be delivered in 2019–20, with $7.6 million as part of the continued implementation of the Making Tracks Investment Strategy. The Palaszczuk Government is investing $22.4 million over three years from 2018–19. A total of 24 initiatives funded in 2019–20 will support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

Healthy and active lifestyles

In 2019-20, the Queensland Government's new Sport and Active Recreation Strategy will be released and will deliver improved female sport and recreation facilities, provide equitable pathways to success in high performance sport and harness social connection and inclusion to motivate and inspire women and girls and raise their profile at all levels of sport and active recreation.

Additionally, funding conditions will be negotiated to transition the sporting industry to build capability to drive gender equity on boards and in pay across the industry.

The Queensland Government will continue to support the rapid growth in women's AFL with a $15 million contribution to develop a stadium at The Reserve Springfield. The Government's co-investment will provide a new home ground for the Brisbane Lions AFL Women's team, as well as deliver training and administration facilities.

Caring for young women's future

The Palaszczuk Government is investing $1.2 million over five years to support young women transitioning from care to independence by providing them with opportunities to access education and training, and achieve economic security.

The Care2Achieve scholarships program, delivered in partnership with The Smith Family, provides young women who have been children in care with up to $11,000 over four years for their education. They also receive mentoring, coaching and support to establish connections and networks with future potential employers.

Through the program, 100 young women aged 17-21 years have received financial assistance and been provided with ongoing support while they complete their studies.

The Care2Achieve program helps reduce the financial barriers to accessing and participating in tertiary education, helps young women develop the skills, confidence and networks to complete their studies, and increases young women's prospects of becoming economically independent and having a more positive future.