WEL NSW Regrets Budget of Bricks and Mortar with No Heart

(Sydney) 18 June 2019 - Women’s Electoral Lobby NSW expressed deep disappointment with the NSW State Budget, describing it as a triumph of steel and concrete over the needs of vulnerable members of the NSW community.

WEL Executive member and Violence Against Women Action Group leader, Jozefa Sobski AM, said there is little to write home about on the NSW Government’s investment levels in social services and support for struggling communities in NSW.

“Infrastructure rules, but communities need to be sustainable and feel confident, secure and safe to benefit fully,” said Ms Sobski.

Despite the Government’s stated post-election priority for “breaking the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage by fixing problems that have been in the too-hard basket for too long”, this Budget appears to shirk the burden for this kind of reform in favour of a record investment in infrastructure projects.

“With a cluster of agencies grouped to achieve stronger communities, there is little in that cluster’s budget initiatives which will enhance the capacity and to fill the gaps for so many services in NSW dedicated to ending domestic violence and homelessness.

“Breaking intergenerational disadvantage must prioritise significant investment in support for vulnerable people, particularly women and children”, said Jozefa Sobski spokeswoman for WEL NSW.

There is $4 million to Women NSW to advance gender equity, which will barely pay the bills. With a little more to reduce family and domestic violence reoffending, and to support victim’s safety through continuation of the Men’s Behaviour Change programs in NSW. All that is to be achieved with $5.6 million.

Ms Sobski lamented the fact that, “the comprehensive Safe State initiatives proposed by the NSW Women’s Alliance and supported by WEL NSW have not penetrated Treasury consciousness, let alone consciences. Nothing new is on offer and no additional funds have been allocated to address the shortfall of crisis accommodation or expert specialist support services required by women fleeing domestic violence.”

“This is a very disappointing, self-congratulatory budget peppering dollars over the many small, social and local commitments made during the election period and reserving the billions for the concrete and steel.”

Women may be driving the state forward, as the Treasurer asserted, but their pay gap will continue as will the other social and economic disadvantages for the most vulnerable in our communities.

Available for comment:

Jozefa Sobski AM, contact for WEL Violence Against Women Action Group

Mobile: 0403 895929