2020-21 Budget

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

Read the Queensland Budget 2020–21 women's economic statement (PDF).


The Queensland Government has a strong record delivering for Queensland Women.

Queensland exceeded our target of 50% representation of women on Queensland Government boards by 2020 – at June 2020, women comprised 54% of Queensland Government board members up from 31% when the target was set.

Women have been supported to thrive in business, through the Mentoring for Growth program, the Advancing Women in Business initiative and the Advance Queensland Female Founders program.

We have inspired women to pursue excellence in a range of fields such as Women in STEM, Women in Media, Women in Music, Women in Tourism and Women in Mining and Resources.

We are listening to young women’s voices through the Queensland Youth Engagement Panel and Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership program. More than half of the Queensland Youth Engagement Panel Members are women and more than 350 First Nations women have participated in the Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program since it began in 2009.

We have ignited ideas and connected leaders through sponsorship of the Women of the World Festival, held in Queensland.

Annual Queensland Women's Week celebrations have allocated over $750,000 in grants since 2015 to more than 280 organisations celebrating the diversity and contribution of women and girls.

To end violence against women and girls, we have now invested more than $500 million since 2015. This includes funding to open 7 new women’s shelters, the first opened in Queensland in over 20 years. Queensland also led the nation, becoming the first state to legislate 10 days’ paid domestic and family violence (DFV) leave for Queensland Government employees.

In 2018 the Queensland Government passed historic laws so that Queensland women can now legally access termination of pregnancy services, removing it from the criminal code.

Women have been supported to gain employment and the skills required to re-enter the workforce.

So far, more than 28,000 women have benefited from Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW), with more than half securing a job as a direct result of participating in SQW.

The Back to Work Program has supported over 10,000 women back into employment since 2016.

Since commencement of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) transition over 40,000 new workers have been attracted to NDIS-related jobs. Of these, it is estimated 70% are women.

We have delivered, through the Sport and Active Recreation Strategy: improved female sport and recreation facilities; equitable pathways to success in high performance sport; and improved capability to drive gender equity on boards and in pay across the industry.

More than $400 million COVID-19 rebates helped around 2.1 million Queensland households with their power and water bills providing much needed financial relief.

We are implementing historic legislation to enable legal recognition of Torres Strait Islander traditional child rearing practices which will help remove identification barriers to participation in important areas such as education, health and housing.

Forty-five projects received more than $15 million under round 1 of the Female Facilities Program in 2018.

Increasing economic security and workforce participation

The Queensland Government aims to create and protect secure jobs for women as we strengthen and grow Queensland's economy.

The Queensland Government is committed to supporting the skills and training needs of Queensland women to grow the skills for the jobs of the future.

The 2020-21 budget includes an investment of more than $1 billion for training and skills:

  • $200 million investment in the future skills requirements of Queenslanders, including:
    - funding for TAFE facilities
    - priority skills
    - capacity building in manufacturing
    - digital workforces
    - a social enterprise job fund.
  • Pre-apprenticeship support and other initiatives to support women and girls to engage and succeed in male dominated industries such as STEM and engineering, where there has been a 32% increase in women commencing an apprenticeship.
  • $21 million to extend the Free TAFE for year 12 graduates and Free Apprenticeships for under 21s programs to young Queenslanders under 25.
  • $25 million in small business grants with a focus on regions as well as young Queenslanders, women, social enterprises, culturally and linguistically diverse people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
  • $70 million to extend the Back to Work Program.
  • $90 million for the Skilling Queenslanders to Work Initiative.
  • Programs which support and facilitate women’s leadership and participation across a variety of fields including: local government, film and television, music and media, agriculture, emergency services.
  • Continued partnership with the Australian Government to deliver the JobTrainer Fund to prioritise no or low fee training places for jobseekers, school leavers and young people to support them into jobs as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19.
  • $8 million has been provided over 4 years for the establishment of new Homework Hubs in 120 Queensland state schools where children will be supervised by teacher aides to alleviate pressure on parents.

The Queensland Government recognises that keeping down the costs of living contributes to women’s economic security and success.

  • From September 2020, a further $100 million is being provided to households to reduce their electricity bills, through the Government’s $50 asset ownership dividend payment.
  • Ticket prices on all TransLink and QConnect public transport services across Queensland have been frozen for 2021, because every little bit back into the pockets of commuters supports Queenslanders, which in turn supports the state's economy.

Women’s health and wellbeing

Women’s health and wellbeing is also vital for economic security and participation in the workforce. The budget includes a range of initiatives to support women to be healthy:

  • Continued investment in women’s health services including $60 million for breast screening services.
  • Over the next 4 years Queensland Health will hire 5,800 nurses and midwives, 1,500 doctors, 475 paramedics, and 1,700 new allied health professionals.
  • Continued investment to assist the Endometriosis Association QLD Inc to develop an endometriosis mobile app to provide more resources and support.
  • $4.7 million for COVID support for the community with $3.6 million psychosocial support through the Red Cross and $1.1 million for UnitingCare Queensland Services and Care Army Volunteers.
  • $8.4 million allocated to 21 Women’s Health and Wellbeing Services.

Preventing and responding to sexual, domestic and family violence

The Queensland Government is committed to taking action to eliminate violence against women which has increased in frequency and complexity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the full impacts are still not yet known, early insight indicates in Queensland 81% of DFV practitioners saw an escalation of controlling behaviour and manipulation and 49% reported an escalation of perpetrators using COVID-19 as a reason for abuse.

This highlights the continuing need to address domestic violence within Queensland communities.

The 2020-21 budget delivers:

  • $139 million to provide housing and support to vulnerable people, particularly those experiencing domestic and family violence (DFV), young people and First Nations people, mainly through investing in specialist homelessness services across Queensland.
  • $48.5 million to respond to DFV, including counselling and crisis responses, court-based support to victims and perpetrators and specialist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander support.
  • More than $34 million for women’s shelters, mobile and centre based support services to support women and their families escaping violence.
  • $11.8 million to support sexual violence services to provide informed counselling and support to people who have experienced sexual violence.
  • $4 million to deliver priority actions to respond to young people who have experienced sexual violence or child sexual abuse.
  • Additional funding of $6 million over four years will be provided to support the prevention of DFV in culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
  • $5 million to raise awareness of elder abuse and assist victims and at-risk seniors.

Engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women

The Queensland Government is committed to assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to have economically secure independent futures.

  • Over 1000 students were actively engaged in the Female Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Program in 2020, which aims to provide targeted engagement incentives such as mentoring and extra-curricular activities to encourage young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander female students to remain actively engaged in education until the completion of Year 12.
  • $241 million has been allocated in 2020–21 to improve housing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the State. This includes:
    $18 million is being provided in 2020–21 to support community members to access home ownership opportunities
    $21.8 million is being allocated in 2020–21 to progress new housing across 17 local councils
    $9.3 million over 4 years has been provided to build the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community sector to support implementation of the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap and improve outcomes for Indigenous Queenslanders.

Supporting success for young women

  • $220,000 sponsorship of the Townsville Fire Community Youth Program aiming to address youth unemployment, obesity and youth suicide.
  • $512,000 for the Gendered Response to Bail Support Service.
  • $2.5 million is being invested to give students free access to sanitary products at 120 state and non-state schools.
  • Encouraging leadership and young women’s participation through continued support for the Queensland Youth Engagement Panel and the Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program.

Women’s sport

  • $15 million contribution to the Ballymore Precinct redevelopment including facilities for the National Women’s rugby team.
  • The development of targeted facilities to support female participation in sport and active recreation continues under the Active Community Infrastructure program – an initiative under the Activate! Queensland 2019–2029 strategy.