ALP Federal Budget 2022-23

WEL welcomes the inclusion in the Budget of a comprehensive Women’s Budget Statement highlighting key areas of government priority and establishing a framework for gender responsive budgeting. The establishment of a Ministerial Council on Women and Women’s Safety reporting directly to National Cabinet is a good sign. WEL hopes this heralds a new era that will make Australia a global leader in gender equality

Election promises are kept in this Budget, but much more is promised than delivered.

The Government has committed to a range of initiatives for Women’s Safety costing $1.36 billion focusing on improving the quality of spending and allocating $169 million over four years for 500 community workers. Much more is needed if the ambitions of the new National Plan to End Violence against Women are to be achieved.

There is a major investment in childcare and paid parental leave to 26 weeks by 1 July 2026. But the childcare sector needs urgent review to determine what contributes to continuing rising costs. The increased government investment must improve wages and salaries of workers as well as affordability for parents.

Measures under the Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) will go some way towards addressing the unmet demand experienced by Specialist Homelessness Services like women’s refuges. The aim is to build 30,000 new social and affordable houses in the first five years of which 4000 will be social housing properties. Acute needs for crisis and transitional housing options will be allocated $100 million from HAFF. WEL also acknowledges the National Housing Accord, which aims to build one million new, well-located homes over five years from 2024.

The Government is undertaking to make amendments to the Fair Work Act, 2009 including the establishment of a statutory equal remuneration principle in an effort to narrow the gender pay gap. There will be amendments to limit fixed term contracts and improve job security. Sexual harassment in the workplace will be expressly prohibited by the Act. An allocation of $32 million over four years is being made to fund Working Women’s Centres.

Consent and respectful relationships education will be funded in partnership with states to deliver age-appropriate and evidence-based education in all schools. The Government will provide $65.3 million over four years for this measure to help prevent gender-based violence.

WEL assesses the Budget as setting an agenda to drive reform to address structural and systemic inequalities. It is aiming towards gender responsive budgeting, but this must be accompanied by income adequacy with social security payments and recognising cost of living pressures on the most vulnerable in our communities.

Click here to read WEL’s Media Statement on the Budget

National Plan to End Violence Against Women

The National Plan was released by the Federal Government on 17 October 2022.

It puts safe, affordable and accessible housing as central to a holistic approach to ending violence (p58). We welcome this recognition of the key role of housing at all stages if women and children are to reach recovery and heal after the trauma of violence.

WEL’s policy platform for the 2022 Federal Election outlines all our recommended actions for ending violence against women..

Housing and Homelessness Inquiries at Federal and State level support WEL’s advocacy work

Two recent and important inquiries support the need for better responses on housing and homelessness issues, and address issues consistently raised by WEL and our allies.

The Productivity Commission reviewed the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement, which is due to expire. WEL and other organisations have highlighted poor outcomes under current arrangements, both for women and other groups. WEL has written to the Hon Julie Collins MP, Minister for Housing and Minister for Homelessness to convey our support for the overall direction of the recommendations of the Review and to emphasise the need for a greatly expanded stock of social housing.

In NSW, the Parliamentary Committee on Social Issues released its report on Homelessness amongst older people aged over 55 in New South Wales on 20 October. WEL and others have collaborated through the group Ageing on the Edge to raise the issue of homelessness among older single women in particular.

We urge the NSW Government to act on the Inquiry’s recommendations.

Are you or is someone you know an older person who has had difficulty paying rent or experienced homelessness?

Older women are the fastest growing group experiencing homelessness. Ageing on the Edge is bringing together a new Lived Experience Action Group to urge action from politicians and would like to hear from you!

Details are here.

The final date for registering is now 4 November

Volunteer at UNSEEN in Parramatta – 24-27 November 2022

UNSEEN is in Parramatta on 24-27 November!

In 2021 WEL was a partner with Belinda Mason of Blur Projects in initiating this incredible project, which enables women who have experienced housing insecurity and homelessness to share their experiences through a multi-media arts project and raises community awareness of the issues. Many WEL members volunteered at the project. Since then, UNSEEN has been activated in several other locations, and in November it will be at Centenary Square Parramatta during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

UNSEEN needs volunteers to help with bump in, public engagement and other support. Time slots are 9am-12pm, 12pm-3pm, 3pm-6pm and 6pm-9pm each day.

If you would like to join in, please contact Belinda on 0414 787 788

WEL position on the Uluru Statement from the Heart and Voice to Parliament

WEL supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart and will walk with Aboriginal women and men into a future where all people’s human rights are protected and racial, cultural, social, economic and educational equality is secure.

Read our full statement here

WEL NSW’s 2022/3 Annual General Meeting and 50th Anniversary Celebration

WEL NSW will be holding our Annual General Meeting on Saturday 10 December, starting at 2pm sharp at our Newtown premises 8-10 Victoria Street Newtown, just off King Street.

Dunghutti Jerrinjha Elder, Aunty Margret Campbell is to do the Welcome and Acknowledgment of Country.

Stop Press: the Hon. Linda Burney: AGM Keynote speaker

After the AGM, at 2.30 Linda Burney, Minister for Indigenous Australians will speak with us on the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the Referendum on enshrining an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament in the Constitution.

As we mark our 50th Anniversary of feminist activism, Linda will outline the compelling reasons why feminists should become advocates for the Constitutional Aboriginal Voice to Parliament.

We are honoured that Linda has accepted our invitation. Members and friends of WEL are welcome to attend

Thinking about making a feminist contribution? Talk with us about running for the WEL Executive for 2022/3

This is an exhilarating time to be a politically engaged and passionate feminist - we need you on our Executive.

WEL NSW Office Bearers and Ordinary members of the Executive Committee are elected each year at the AGM and we encourage interested women to nominate.

For full details on this exciting opportunity, see here

NSW and Victorian Elections

A reminder that the Victorian Election is on Saturday 26 November and the NSW Election will be held on Saturday 25 March.

WEL plans to hold policy forums in the lead up to the NSW election.

We invite members and followers to nominate the policies you feel WEL should prioritise in its advocacy at the state level, keeping in mind the areas over which states exercise legislative, policy and financial control.

Please give us your feedback by completing this brief survey.

Women decide Elections & we NEED your support! Donate Today

WEL depends more than ever on the support of our members and followers, to continue our essential work of lobbying and campaigning to protect the rights of Australian women. Armed with policies setting out our demands, we run campaigns and lobby politicians and governments to make women’s equality central to policy making and implementation.
We need your ongoing support!
Consider becoming a member and be kept WEL-Informed with our regular newsletter or become a monthly supporter – all proceeds go towards WEL’s work gathering research, meeting with industry leaders, lobbying politicians, collaborating with other women’s organisations, holding policy roundtables and conducting political education programs for women in the community.

Thanks for your support. Please get in touch if you have any ideas or feedback for our next edition.

Contact WEL NSW [email protected]

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