17th November, 2020

$10 Million over Two Years – Are you Serious Treasurer?

Women’s Electoral Lobby NSW expressed dismay at the State Budget’s lack of any Women’s Statement or government media on women’s priorities.

With unemployment among women in NSW reaching a record high – 130,000 plus in September, 2020 and predicted to grow, the NSW Government’s initiative to provide $10 million over two years to assist women to retrain and return to work, is an insult.

“Does the Treasurer really think that this will make any tangible difference to the high numbers of unemployed women looking for work or to retrain? “  said Jozefa Sobski, spokeswoman for WEL NSW.

“These funds will be consumed by administration costs and will reach possibly 1,000 women a year.”

WEL condemned the government for ignoring women’s priorities and desperate needs at this time. The NSW Women’s Alliance set out comprehensive priorities in its Emergency Briefing on COVID-19 in March, 2020 which should have been accorded serious consideration. NCOSS’s Pre-Budget Submission did likewise and should have been considered.

The NSW Women’s Strategy sitting on a government website continues to languish uselessly. Its promise of delivering an annual report on NSW Government spending on women is totally ignored. Its many strategies under-funded or not funded at all.  Give Women NSW some resources to unpack the Budget for the vast community of women’s organisations working tirelessly to advocate for women and their needs at all the intersections of disadvantage.

WEL welcomes the FIFA Women’s World Cup, but any stadium upgrade does not cheer the homeless or those unemployed.

Bronnie Taylor, the energetic Minister for Women obviously lacks the clout to make an impact on this gender-blind Treasurer. The Premier’s cross government priorities need urgent revision. They are no longer fit for these COVID times.

“The Treasurer’s optimism about a future surplus is as unbelievable as his lack of awareness of the importance of a gender lens on the budget. Stronger communities require the needs of the most vulnerable to be addressed. The Treasurer needs to get serious and get real.” 

Available for comment:

Jozefa Sobski AM, Contact for WEL Violence Against Women Action Group.

Email - [email protected]