Broadening opportunity and advancing equality

Supporting women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and the most vulnerable

Progressing equality, supporting women

Standing up for women’s health and safety

Financial assistance for victim‑survivors leaving a violent partner

The Government is investing $925.2 million over five years from 2023–24 to provide support for victim‑survivors leaving a violent intimate partner relationship including support for migrants, regardless of their visa status. This includes continuing existing trials until mid‑2025 and then establishing the permanent Leaving Violence Program.

Under the new program, victim‑survivors can access up to $5,000 in financial support, which will be indexed annually to ensure the payment meets the rising cost of living. Additional support services will be available through the program including safety planning, risk assessment and referrals to other services for up to 12 weeks.

Addressing gender‑based violence in higher education

The Government is committed to strengthening accountability for systemic gender‑based violence issues in higher education. An independent National Student Ombudsman will be established to investigate student complaints and help to resolve disputes with universities.

A National Higher Education Code to Prevent and Respond to Gender‑based Violence will be introduced.

These commitments, alongside additional efforts to prevent and respond to gender‑based violence, form part of the Government’s $3.4 billion total investment for women’s safety and support the National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022–2032. This is complemented by the actions on gender‑based violence agreed by governments at the National Cabinet on 1 May 2024.

Investing in women’s health

The Government is investing $56.1 million over four years to improve access to sexual and reproductive healthcare for women across the life-course. This includes training GPs to provide better menopause care, and to become qualified in the insertion and removal of long‑acting reversible contraceptives. It also includes the delivery of free period products in rural and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

A national strategy to make sure the Government works for women

The first national strategy to achieve gender equality has been released. Working for Women: A Strategy for Gender Equality will drive Government action on women’s safety, sharing and valuing care, economic equality, women’s health and leadership, representation and decision making. To support Working for Women, the Government will regularly survey women’s concerns and priorities for gender equality.

Addressing industry gender segregation, tax cuts, and the new Commonwealth Prac Payment are among the measures in this Budget that help implement Working for Women.

Taking pressure off parents

Superannuation will be paid on Government‑funded Paid Parental Leave (PPL) for parents of babies born or adopted on or after 1 July 2025. The Government will provide $1.1 billion over the forward estimates, with payments made annually to individuals’ super funds from 1 July 2026. This will reduce the impact of career breaks to care for young children on superannuation balances and support parents to achieve a more dignified retirement.

This initiative builds on the Government’s $1.2 billion investment from 2022–23 to 2026–27 to expand the PPL scheme by two weeks each year from 1 July 2024 to reach a total of 26 weeks by 1 July 2026.

Case study

Courtney earns around $70,000 per year and takes 22 weeks of PPL after her child is born in July 2026, while her partner takes four weeks of PPL. Based on projected future payment rates, Courtney’s family will receive around an additional $5,790 of Parental Leave Pay due to the expansion of the PPL scheme to a total of 26 weeks by 1 July 2026.

Both partners are also entitled to superannuation on their PPL payment. They do not have to do anything additional to receive their super payment. Courtney receives around $2,500 as a contribution to her superannuation account. Courtney will retire with a superannuation balance around $4,250 or 1.15 per cent higher.

Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

Partnering with First Nations communities

The Budget is investing $2.4 billion over five years to create new opportunities and achieve better outcomes for First Nations people. Priority areas include jobs, health, education, justice, housing and other essential infrastructure and services.

A landmark $4 billion partnership with the Northern Territory Government will address conditions and overcrowding in remote housing in the Northern Territory, including $839.4 million over five years from 2023–24 in this Budget and $2.1 billion over 10 years.

Investing in First Nations economic empowerment and self‑determination

The new Remote Jobs and Economic Development Program will create up to 3,000 jobs in remote Australia while building skills and experience and delivering the services communities need. A Community Jobs and Business Fund will be established under the Program to identify and pursue projects that support community development and create local economic opportunities.

This $777.4 million investment is the first step to replace the Community Development Program with real jobs, proper wages, and decent conditions. The Government also intends to enhance Indigenous Business Australia’s ability to leverage their capital, enabling greater investment in First Nations housing, communities and businesses.

Supporting early childhood and education community‑controlled sectors

The Government is supporting First Nations students and teachers. Funding of $29.1 million over four years will be provided to First Nations early childhood and education peak bodies to advise the Government on issues including a new national First Nations Education Policy and First Nations Teacher Strategy.

Improving remote First Nations communities’ access to essential services in the Northern Territory

Essential services in remote Northern Territory communities will receive continued support from the Australian Government, with $111.1 million invested in 2024–25 for critical health, safety, wellbeing, schooling and justice services.

Supporting the most vulnerable

Supporting people seeking work with new paid employment pathways

A $54 million investment in two new paid work placement programs will pilot support for job seekers with barriers to work, connecting them with new opportunities in businesses and social enterprises. These pilots will deliver placements paying award or above wages.

Targeted support for job seekers with a partial capacity to work

The Government is extending eligibility for the existing higher rate of JobSeeker Payment to single recipients with an assessed partial capacity to work between zero and 14 hours per week.

Combined with a higher rate of Energy Supplement, eligible recipients will receive an increase to their rate of payment of at least $54.90 per fortnight. The base rate of payment will also be indexed to help keep pace with increases in the cost of living.

Case study

Anika is 45 years old and rents by herself in South Australia. She has been assessed as having a partial capacity to work of eight to 14 hours per week but has not been able to find work.

Anika receives $966.50 per fortnight in income support from JobSeeker Payment, Commonwealth Rent Assistance and supplementary payments.

From 20 September 2024, Anika will become eligible for the higher rate of JobSeeker Payment and Energy Supplement and the maximum rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance will increase by 10 per cent.

She will receive at least $1,040.20 per fortnight, including an extra $54.90 from JobSeeker Payment and Energy Supplement and $18.80 from Commonwealth Rent Assistance, plus an additional increase due to regular indexation.

Anika will also receive $300 in Energy Bill Relief in 2024–25 from the Australian Government in addition to the $250 she already received in 2023–24.

Embedding and enhancing place‑based approaches

The Government’s $100 million Outcomes Fund will be established from 2024–25 for projects that support communities experiencing entrenched disadvantage.

The Fund will focus on improving outcomes for children and families, helping those experiencing barriers to employment, and improving access to services for people facing or experiencing homelessness. Payments will be made to projects achieving agreed, measurable outcomes.

The Government will provide $134.2 million for skills and employment support in key regions. This includes developing Regional Workforce Transition Plans to support the delivery of place‑based services and supports.

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