Release type: Media Release


Budget 2013-14: Supporting the Queensland Working Women’s Service


The Hon Bill Shorten MP
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Financial Services and Superannuation

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten today announced additional funding for the Queensland Working Women’s Service (QWWS).

QWWS is a not-for-profit community organisation with specialist workplace relations expertise providing free and confidential services for female workers.

The Gillard Labor Government will provide $776,000 over three years from 1 July 2013 to ensure the Queensland Working Women’s Service continues to be able to help some of the State’s most vulnerable working women.

This follows $200,000 provided by the Australian Government in July 2012 to fill the funding gap left by the heartless cuts made by the Queensland Newman Government.

“The Gillard Government recognises the vital services and advice QWWS provides to some of Queensland’s most vulnerable workers,” Mr Shorten said.

“Labor is committed to creating fairer workplaces and a strong economy where all workers are given the same opportunities.

“Our commitment to QWWS and vulnerable workers in Queensland stands in stark contrast to the approach of the LNP Newman Government which has been cutting services to the bone.”

Mr Shorten said the extra funding will bring annual Commonwealth investment in QWWS to over $550,000 a year.

“Some of the valuable services provided by QWWS to the Queensland community include self-help information sessions for people representing themselves before the Fair Work Commission, evening legal advice services, and community legal education and research services,” Mr Shorten said.

“This includes specialised expertise in understanding the cultural and social complexities faced by Indigenous women in the workplace, and providing assistance to Indigenous women which is tailored and confidential to address their specific needs.”

Other services provided by QWWS include helping women in home based employment and low paid work, with disability, in regional or remote areas, re-entering the workforce and sole income earners.

QWWS is one of five Community Based Employment Services (CBEAS) currently funded by the Australian Government.

“Last year the Gillard Government committed to providing $7.1 million over four years to ensure CBEAS can continue to deliver services to Australia’s most vulnerable workers,” Mr Shorten said.

The other four organisations are jointly funded by the Commonwealth and the states and include Working Women’s Centres in South Australia and the Northern Territory, the Employment Law Centre of Western Australia, and JobWatch in Victoria.

This budget keeps our economy strong, makes the smart investments for our future and ensures every Australian gets a fair go.

The Gillard Government is investing for the future, putting jobs and economic growth first and protecting the important services that Australians rely on, including those provided by the QWWS.