The 2022-23 NSW State Budget provides the biggest blueprint in the State’s history to level the playing field for women, investing $16.5 billion over 10 years, with $4.9 billion committed over the next term of government.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the 2022-23 NSW Budget supports women to enter, re-enter and stay in the workforce, recognising the economic and societal benefits of investing in women.
“The NSW Government is committed to ensuring NSW is the best place in the country for women to live, work and raise a family, and to achieve that, we have developed the most comprehensive package of initiatives to support women in the State’s history,” Mr Perrottet said.
Treasurer Matt Kean said the budget provided an unprecedented boost to the affordability and accessibility of early childhood education and care to support more women to return to work and give children the best start to life.
“Investment in childcare is the best way to improve women’s economic opportunity, increase female workforce participation and close the gender pay gap,” Mr Kean said.
“Improving the affordability and accessibility of childcare is once in a generation economic policy. This investment, delivered alongside the Commonwealth’s childcare reforms and market dynamics, is expected to see up to 95,000 women enter the workforce or take on more hours, driving down the gender workforce participation gap by up to 14 per cent within a decade.”
Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said the NSW Government’s Women’s Opportunity Statement will be repeated in every future NSW Budget.
“I am proud to be part of a government that is delivering a landmark package that will support woman right across NSW. Women have spoken and the Government has listened,” Mrs Taylor said.
“This package will create a more even gender mix across industries, increase workplace flexibility, support women to return to work and entrepreneurs to grow their own businesses.
“A big shout-out to the fantastic Expert Reference Panel that led the Women’s Economic Opportunities Review and to the thousands of women who helped shape this Budget.”
The NSW budget allocates $16.5 billion over 10 years in programs that will benefit women, including the following investments over four years:
$4.6 billion to increase women’s participation in the workforce, including:
• $1.7 billion towards introducing universal pre-kindergarten
• $1.3 billion fee relief for preschool
• $775 million towards boosting accessibility and affordability of childcare
• $32 million ($30 million in grants and $2 million in administration) to provide wraparound support for women to return to work
$69.4 million to improve the experiences of women in the workforce, including:
• $21 million to increase women’s participation in the Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) workforce and enhance workplace safety
• $20.2 million to triple the number of women in construction by 2030, from 5% to 15%
• Enhanced paid parental leave for public sector employees, including two weeks bonus leave where parents share leave more equally
$30.6 million to support women in small business and entrepreneurship, including:
• $15 million to provide tailored support to help women build and grow their businesses
• $12 million towards the Carla Zampatti Venture Capital Fund ($10 million for the Fund and $2 million for establishment and operation) for female led start-ups
• $3.7 million to monitor the proportion of women-led businesses in government procurement and promote equitable practices in businesses
$150.5 million to increase women’s health and wellbeing, including:
• $80 million to support affordable fertility treatments
• $40.3 million for menopause hubs
• $25 million to upgrade lighting and build female change rooms at sporting grounds
• $5.2 million to support post-natal mental health
$108.9 million to increase respect for women and women’s financial security, including:
• $43.6 million for wraparound support for victim-survivors of domestic violence
• $30 million for lighting, CCTV and foot traffic upgrades and an anti-street harassment campaign
• $18 million for expanding AV links to allow domestic violence complainants to give remote evidence
• $9.7 million for a SafeWork taskforce to reduce sexual harassment in the workplace
• $8 million for court appointed questioners for cross examinations of DV complainants
• Shared equity scheme for low-income single parents and older singles, especially older single women