The 2021-22 Victorian State Budget: What does it mean for women our region?

edm_budget_analysis.png

A gender-lens analysis from WHISE on the 2021-22 Victorian State Budget, handed down by Treasurer Tim Pallas on 20 May 2021, and its impact for women in our region.

Government Budgets – local, state or national – are big events. Budgets define how governments fund services and programs, tell us how resources are being prioritised and how taxes from community are used.  They also tell us if the governments of the day are putting their “money where their mouth is”. 

The Victorian State Budget was handed down by Treasurer Tim Pallas on 20 May 2021. 

While budgets are important, often they can be difficult things to understand and navigate. To assist our partners and members, the team at WHISE have put together an overview on the Victorian State Budget 2021-22 with a specific eye to how it will impact women in the Southern Metropolitan Region of Melbourne. 

We are looking forward to running webinars on our views about the budget in the future, but in the meantime, the analysis is available to read here

The analysis – written by our Research Officer Dr. Rachel Bush – seeks to highlight what the team at WHISE (based on our work and partnerships) see as the key benefits of the budget for women in our region and future opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing for women.  As our community and economy emerges from the pandemic, and with the awareness both in Victoria and nationally about the importance of gender equality, WHISE is pleased to see the government responding to the sector’s call for: 

  • Increased funding for Women’s Health Services; 
  • Establishment of additional hubs for sexual and reproductive health;
  • A gender responsive budgeting unit within Treasury;
  • Creation of 47,000 gender equal jobs in the care economy (mental health, early childhood, COVID-19 healthcare and teaching); and 
  • Prioritised funding for women’s economic participation. 

The establishment of localised units in public health, mental health, sexual and reproductive health and in other areas of economic justice (i.e., skills) will be a great opportunity to make sure that the specific needs of women at the local level are heard and responded to. 

We put forward some concerns on the budget based on our work and perspective of ensuring that all women in our region are safe, healthy and thriving. These are detailed in the analysis but in summary are: 

The ongoing investment in gambling and the gaming industry – WHISE sees this as disappointing given the considerable evidence of the link between gambling and family violence. 

The quantum of investment in gender specific initiatives for 50% of the population of Victoria is not enough given the stated policy of government and the goal of strengthening Victoria’s economic recovery from the pandemic through women’s participation. 

Within the analysis we also raise the hope that the translation of the budget, through implementation to the community, will result in sustainable improvement to the lives of women in community. Further, it is our hope that implementation of the budget leverages existing resources and structures already in place, rather than investing much needed funds to reinvent architecture. 

We look forward to hearing back from partners, members and stakeholders on their views about the budget and, in the future, to seeing how the Government’s investment, on behalf of all of us, translates to our community. 

Read the full analysis: The 2021-22 Victorian State Budget: What does it mean for women in the South Metro Region? [PDF: 1.45MB]

If you do have any queries, questions or comments, as always, please feel free to contact the team at WHISE at whise@whise.org.au