BUDGET A PRE-ELECTION GIFT TO LIBERALS’ BILLIONAIRE MATES

Tonight’s Budget is a pre-election sweetener that fails to make billionaires and big corporations pay their fair share of tax, while growing inequality and fast-tracking climate collapse.
While on the surface the budget may appear to do away with the Liberals’ years of austerity politics, it continues the myth that largesse to the super-wealthy will trickle down to everyday people.
Instead of a billionaires tax, the Budget locks in stage 3 tax cuts for billionaires and the wealthiest. Instead of making the big corporations pay their fair share, the Budget is full of more corporate welfare. Instead of investing in planet saving, nation building infrastructure, it hands billions to fossil fuel companies, further accelerating the climate crisis.
The Morrison government is handing $1.1 billion in new money to the oil, gas and coal industry, $11.4 billion next year alone, and with a total of a $51 billion across the forwards, this is one of the biggest handouts to the fossil fuel corporations in a Budget ever. Meanwhile one of the few paltry investments in the environment is for trashing our environmental laws.
The economic forecasts are built on sand and on an assumption our failed quarantine and vaccine program will miraculously start to work and that rest of world overcomes the pandemic. Wages go backwards for years, while more than $62 billion in handouts are directed to the billionaires and the big corporations.
The Greens pledge to amend this ‘Billionaires Budget’ to force billionaires and big corporations to return JobKeeper, following revelations that much of the money intended to save jobs instead went to profitable corporations that bought private jets and paid massive bonuses.
The government wants Australians to believe that this is a budget for women, but the numbers put a lie to that. In the first year of Stage 3 tax cuts will see $5.5 billion more into the pockets of men than women.
With Liberal spinners working overtime to convince the public that this is anything but an insult to working people, the Greens say this is growing evidence of a 2021 election, pledging to work overtime to fight for your future.
Lines from Adam Bandt MP, Leader of the Australian Greens:
“This is a Budget for billionaires and big corporations,” said Mr Bandt.
“1 in 3 big corporations pay no tax and billionaires increased their wealth by over 30% last year, but instead of making them pay their fair share, this Budget will make the inequality crisis worse.
“Billionaires get tax cuts and big corporations get handouts, but wages go backwards and job seekers are stuck in poverty.
“In the middle of a climate crisis, Scott Morrison is giving $1.1 billion in new money to coal and gas. With a total of $51bn in public money for coal and gas corporations, the biggest in recent memory, this Budget will fast-track climate collapse.
“This Budget should have invested in renewables, in clean and green manufacturing, in improving people’s livelihoods and building up our essential services. With this budget, Australia could have become a renewable energy superpower, putting us on a path to generate 700% renewable energy, exporting extra clean energy to the world, but instead the Liberals are giving public money to coal and gas.
“Josh Frydenberg has served up more than $62b a year in handouts for the ultra-wealthy billionaires and big corporations, and he’s pushing ahead with the $149b Stage 3 ‘tax cuts for billionaires’ package. Billionaires will keep making out like bandits.
“Meanwhile, he has locked in poverty for the many. Workers’ wages will go backwards for the next two years, then flatline after that, ensuring that wages will remain low while corporate profits skyrocket. Billionaire Gerry Harvey will be getting his workers at fire sale prices. Meanwhile, the government is failing to tackle insecure work, or put dental into Medicare. The pandemic turbocharged inequality and this Budget will make it worse.
“The election gun has been fired and we are ready to campaign to put the Greens in the balance of power in both houses of Parliament so we can get real action on inequality and climate.”
Lines from Senator Nick McKim, Greens Economic Inequality Spokesperson:
“Australia’s billionaires bought the last election for the Liberals. This pre-election cash-splash for the uber-rich and big corporates shows Scott Morrison’s desperate for it to happen again,” said Senator McKim.
“1 in 3 big corporations pay no tax and billionaires are making out like bandits, but this Budget fails to make them pay their fair share.”
“Australia’s billionaires made an extra $90 billion during the pandemic, and they have not been asked to pay a single cent of that towards paying for services that benefit all of us.”
“The Liberals have finally admitted that there’s money in the budget to change lives. Sadly, the lives they chose to improve are Australia’s billionaires’.”
“Gas is as dirty as coal and more handouts to the gas giants will fuel the climate crisis, as will the failure to rein in the $7 billion in fuel tax credits to the mining billionaires.
“This budget delivers more of the same policies that are turbo-charging inequality, pricing young people out of the housing market, and cooking the planet.”
The Bad, The Worse, The Ugly:
The Good:

  • The Liberals finally ditch their rhetoric slamming big-spending budgets (for now).
  • The Greens call to extend gender inequality survey to the public sector has been funded.
  • More funding for AAP, as the Greens have been demanding.
  • The Government has backflipped on $124m in cuts to housing and homelessness support services, following pressure from the Greens.

The Bad:

  • $6.5b vast majority of the infrastructure is in roads, including $173.6m for roads to gas projects.
  • No funding for ICAC, again.
  • $62bn in handouts for the ultra-wealthy billionaires and big corporations.

The Ugly:

  • Funding for aged care well short of what is needed and wages for aged care workers will continue to stagnate
    More money to tear up environmental protections, destroy habitats, and fossil fuels than to protect Australia’s incredible natural biodiversity.
  • Government presses ahead with Stage 3 tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy, instead of taxing the billionaires.

Budget: Not enough to fix broken aged care and mental health systems, fails to address poverty

“This budget is a surplus of scatter gun approaches and tinkering around the edges.
“This is a budget that continues the ongoing disdain this Government has for people who have been doing it tough for a long time and for whom things have only got worse due to the global pandemic and recession: people on income support, older women, young people, single parents and disabled people.
“Despite entrenched poverty in this country, budget after budget fails to address it and charities and the not for profit sector are left to pick up the pieces under increasing strain.
“A strong social safety net and great public services are the absolute bedrock of ensuring equality and opportunity for all. Budgets should prioritise this.
“This Budget provides $213 million to “strengthen” mutual obligations – more money to punish, threaten and bully people.
“Jobactive is failing and a cash cow for job providers to make money out of an unemployment industry.
“The Government is now making savings by transitioning to digital services instead of injecting funding into and transforming the systems to provide more targeted, individualised personal support.
“The home deposit scheme for single parents is a joke. So many single parents are living in poverty, the vast majority can’t even comprehend saving for a house. How out of touch is this Government!
“I’m very pleased the Government has finally scrapped the racist and punitive Community Development Program which has entrenched poverty in rural and remote regions.
“We will be following closely to ensure that the Minister is true to his intention in the budget papers to co-design the new Remote Jobs Program with First Nations communities.
“$17 billion over 4 years is not enough to fix our broken aged care system. The sector needs $10 billion per year.
“There is a lack of serious intent by this Government to transform aged care and increase transparency and accountability.
“There is no guarantee of better care unless there is proper accountability and transparency in this sector.
“We will end up back in the same place we are today if we don’t start this process by putting proper safeguards in place.
“The Royal Commission was also very clear that investment in staff is a significant part of fixing this crisis but where is the workforce strategy and it’s frankly insulting that there is not a pay increase for aged care workers.
“How do we expect to attract the additional 70,000 aged care workers that we need without increased wages?
“The approach to mental health is scatter gun and piecemeal, with not enough long-term vision and structural reform.  Everyone should be able to access mental health treatment and support when and where they need it. This investment is not enough to achieve this. We will still have a rationed system.
“This Government claims to be concerned about mental health but their commitments ring hollow if they cannot even give people living on the JobSeeker payment the dignity to live above the poverty line or address the underlying causes of mental ill health like affordable housing.
“There is no measure in this budget to ensure that mental health care is accessible and affordable to people on low incomes who at the moment are struggling to access basic services.”

Generational change and record investment in the health of Australians

The Morrison Government is investing a record $121.4 billion in 2021–22 and $503 billion over the next four years, providing more support to Australians as we face some of the greatest health challenges in a generation.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, we have committed over $25 billion towards our COVID-19 health response. This includes measures in the 2021–22 Budget, including $1.1 billion to extend our COVID-19 health response to support Australians throughout the pandemic, and $1.9 billion to drive the COVID‑19 vaccine rollout, to ensure everyone in Australia will have the opportunity to be vaccinated.
In addition we are extending COVID-19 health measures by investing $204.6 million to extend telehealth arrangements until 31 December 2021, bringing total investment to date to $3.6 billion, which continues to provide access to health services for all Australians regardless of where they live.
In this Budget, we will deliver on two critical reforms:

  • our $17.7 billion investment in aged care, responding to the Royal Commission on Aged Care Quality and Safety, and establishing the five pillar – five year plan for genuine change for our senior Australians – the largest investment in aged care and the largest in response to a Royal Commission in Australia’s history – to deliver greater respect, care and dignity for our older Australians, and
  • our $2.3 billion investment in the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan – the largest Commonwealth mental health investment in Australia’s history, including creating a landmark national network including up to 57 additional mental health treatments centres and satellites for adults, as well as more centres for youth and children through the Head to Health and headspace programs.

In addition, our Government is strengthening our record investment in the Australia’s Long Term National Health Plan, creating the world’s best health care system, including:

  • $125.7 billion over the forward estimates, up over $6 billion, as part of our ongoing commitment to guarantee Medicare for all Australians
  • $43 billion over four years to make medicines available and affordable through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
  • $535.9 million for women and girls, including critical investments in line with the National Women’s Health Strategy 2020-30, support for women who are suffering from or at risk of endometriosis, preventing premature birth, detection and treatment for breast and cervical cancer, and mental health, including a $26.9 million investment to provide additional support for people with eating disorders and their families
  • $781.1 million to prioritise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and ageing outcomes
  • $135.4 billion over five years to continue record level investment in public hospitals, including funding under the 2020–25 National Health Reform Agreement (NHRA) and the National Partnership on COVID-19. This is up from $13.3 billion in 2012-13 to $25.6 billion in 2021-22 and $29.9 billion in 2024-25
  • continuing to build on this Government’s track record of Private Health Insurance (PHI) reforms delivering the lowest premium changes in 20 years, and
  • $6.7 billion over four years for life-saving and life changing research, with $228.1 million in new grants and opening of programs in this Budget.

COVID-19 RESPONSE

The COVID-19 global pandemic continues to present an ongoing risk to our population’s health. It has had a profound impact on our way of life, even as our successful suppression strategy has protected Australians from the worst impacts.
The Morrison Government is continuing the momentum of our COVID-19 health response and COVID-19 vaccination rollout, and has committed over $25 billion since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.
There is still much to do to suppress COVID-19 transmission in our communities, but our Government and all Australians remain alert and responsive to change. This investment over the coming months will underpin our efforts in continuing our successful strategy of protecting Australians and fast-tracking our economic recovery.
Key measures include:

  • $1.2 billion to partner with states and territories to support the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine, and ensure swift and flexible responses to COVID-19 outbreaks and transmissions
  • $557.1 million to test for COVID-19 transmission, including funding for MBS pathology items
  • $169.8 million to ensure access to safe services, medicines and up-to-date information on COVID-19. This includes $87.5 million to support GP-led Respiratory Clinics treat patients, $11.5 million to deliver the Home Medicine Service, and $7.1 million to ensure mental wellbeing service support through Beyond Blue
  • $90 million for the COVID-19 Aged Care Viability Fund to ensure Residential Aged Care providers financial sustainability, and funding to support workers and Residential Aged Care residents to be COVID-19 safe, and
  • $29.9 million investment in the preparedness and capacity of the National Medical Stockpile, and ensure health and aged care workers can access personal protective equipment.

AGEING AND AGED CARE: RESPECT, CARE AND DIGNITY

The Morrison Government will invest $17.7 billion in additional funding in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Safety and Quality. This in turn will help ensure respect, care and dignity for our senior Australians.
The Morrison Government’s focus through our aged care reforms is to ensure senior Australians have access to high quality and safe care services, are empowered to have more control and choice in their care arrangements and are treated with dignity and respect.
All Australians deserve an aged care system that places their needs and wellbeing at its centre. Some 1.3 million Australians access aged care services today and, by the middle of the century, the number of Australians aged over 65 years will almost double to more than 7 million. The importance of these reforms cannot be overstated.
Over 5 years we will invest $250 million in 2020–21, $2.1 billion in 2021–22, $4.4 billion in 2022–23, $5.5 billion in 2023–24 and $5.5 billion in 2024–25, for a total of $17.7 billion.
The Morrison Government called for the Royal Commission, and each step of the way has sought to address the immediate priorities to improve the aged care system.
We invested $552 million when the Royal Commission was first established. We invested $537 million at the time of the interim report. We invested $132.2 million in direct response to the COVID‑19 special report. Most recently, we committed $452 million for immediate, priority actions in response to the final report, Care, Dignity and Respect.
Our Government will continue to build on this investment and lead this comprehensive and generational reform agenda – now worth $17.7 billion over the forward estimates – which will also rely on support from the aged care sector, providers and the workforce to embrace and embed these changes, creating a better system within their business and their work.
Our commitment includes:

  • Pillar 1 of the Royal Commission Response – Home Care: $7.5 billion towards supporting senior Australians who choose to remain in their home, including:
    • $6.5 billion for an additional 80,000 Home Care Packages – 40,000 released in 2021–22 and 40,000 in 2022–23, which will make a total of 275,598 packages available to senior Australians by June 2023
    • $10.8 million to design and plan a new support in home care program which better meets the needs of senior Australians
    • $798.3 million to support the 1.6 million informal carers, including additional respite services for 8,400 senior Australians each year, and
    • $272.5 million for enhanced support and face-to-face services to assist senior Australians accessing and navigating the aged care system.
    • $3.9 billion to increase the amount of front line care (care minutes) delivered to residents of aged care and respite services, mandated at 200 minutes per day, including 40 minutes with a registered nurse
    • $3.2 billion to support aged care providers to deliver better care and services through a new Government funded Basic Daily Fee Supplement of $10 per resident per day
    • $102.1 million to assign residential aged care places directly to senior Australians, and to support providers to adjust to a more competitive market
    • $49.1 million to expand the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority to help ensure that aged care costs are directly related to the care provided
    • $189.3 million for a new Australian National Aged Care Classification to deliver a fairer and more sustainable funding arrangements, and
    • $5.5 million to reform residential aged care design and planning to better meet the needs of senior Australians, particularly those living with dementia.
  • Pillar 2 of the Royal Commission Response – residential aged care services and sustainability: $7.8 billion towards improving and simplifying residential aged care services and to ensure senior Australians can access value for money services, including:
  • Pillar 3 of the Royal Commission Response – residential aged care quality and safety: $942 million to drive systemic improvements to residential aged care quality and safety, including:
    • $365.7 million to improve access to primary care for senior Australians, including the transition of senior Australians between aged care and health care setting and improved medication management
    • $262.5 million to ensure the independent regulator, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC), is well-equipped to safeguard the quality, safety and integrity of aged care services, and can effectively address failures in care
    • $7.3 million for additional resources to build capacity within residential aged care for the care of senior Australians living with dementia
    • $67.5 million for the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service and the Severe Behaviour Response Teams to further reduce reliance on physical and chemical restraint (restrictive practices), and
    • $200.1 million to introduce a new star rating system to highlight the quality of aged care services, and better informing senior Australians, their families and carers.
  • Pillar 4 of the Royal Commission Response – Workforce: $652.1 million to grow a skilled, professional and compassionate aged care workforce, which will be the powerhouse of the Government’s reform agenda, including:
    • $228.2 million to create a single assessment workforce to undertake all assessments that will improve and simplify the assessment experience for senior Australians as they enter or progress within the aged care system
    • $135.6 million to provide eligible registered nurses with financial support of $3,700 for full-time workers, and $2,700 for part-time workers.
    • $9.8 million to extend the national recruitment campaign, and to help increase the skilled and dedicated aged care workforce, and
    • upskill the existing workforce and providing training for thousands of new aged care workers, including 33,800 subsidised Vocational Education and Training places through JobTrainer.
  • Pillar 5 of the Royal Commission Response – Governance: $698.3 million to improve the governance across the aged care system. This will embed respect, care and dignity at the heart of the system, guaranteeing better choice, high quality and safe care for senior Australians, including:
    • $21.1 million to establish new governance and advisory structures, including a National Aged Care Advisory Council, Council of Elders and are working towards establishing a new Inspector-General of Aged Care
    • $630.2 million to improve access to quality aged care services for consumers in regional, rural and remote areas including those with First Nations backgrounds and special needs groups
    • $13.4 million to improve rural and regional stewardship of aged care, with Department of Health aged care officers embedded within eight of the 31 Primary Health Network regions, and
    • The drafting of a new Aged Care Act to enshrine the Government’s reforms in legislation by mid-2023.

NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH AND SUICIDE PREVENTION PLAN

The Morrison Government will deliver the largest single mental health and suicide prevention Commonwealth investment in Australia’s history, investing $2.3 billion to deliver structural reform and real change for Australians and ensure they have the support they need.
This includes $1.4 billion in high quality and person-centred treatment, and specifically the development of a national network including up to 57 additional mental health treatment centres and satellites for adults, youth and children, through Head to Health and headspace programs. This landmark reform will address service gaps and provide accessible, stigma-free care throughout Australia, including in regional and rural areas.
The Morrison Government’s total annual investment in mental health has grown from $5.9 billion in 2020–21 to $6.3 billion in 2021–22.
Australians endured so much in 2020 – from the Black Summer bushfires, where many families and communities are continuing to rebuild, the COVID-19 pandemic that changed the very way we live our lives, to the floods of 2021.
The mental health toll on Australians both collectively and individually, has been a heavy one. In 2020, the Productivity Commission (PC) put the cost to the Australian economy of mental illness and suicide, conservatively, at up to $70 billion per year.
Our Government is focused on ensuring Australians are able to access affordable supports where and when they need them. We want a system that proactively reaches out to support people early in life and early in their experience of distress.
This is an ambitious reform agenda. We recognise Australians need a mental health system focussed on helping people before mental health conditions deteriorate and suicidal distress worsens. Whole‑of‑government and whole‑of‑community change are required to deliver preventive, compassionate and effective care.
Our reforms have been guided by the Final Advice of the National Suicide Prevention Adviser (NSPA), and include the first instalment of the Government’s response to the PC Inquiry report. The Government has supported in full, in part or in principle all of the 21 recommendations of the PC Report and the eight recommendations of the NSPA Final Advice.
More than half of these recommendations require collaboration with state and territory governments, which will be pursued jointly through a new National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement. This agreement will ensure reform delivers on the compassionate, connected and accessible system that Australians living with mental ill-health deserve.
Building on the record funding for mental health in 2019–20 and 2020–21, this Budget will address action in 5 priority areas:

  • prevention and early intervention
  • suicide prevention
  • treatment
  • support for the vulnerable, and
  • workforce and governance.

Key investments include:

  • $248.6 million for prevention and early intervention
    • $111.2 million in digital services, including the creation of a world-class, single digital platform under Head to Health that will provide online professional counselling, peer support, clinical support and referrals
    • $47.4 million to support the mental health and wellbeing of new and expectant parents including to:
      • expand existing support services provided by Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia
      • provide continued funding to support digital perinatal mental health screening, and
      • deliver universal perinatal mental health screening in conjunction with states and territories.
    • $77.1 million for the National Legal Assistance Partnership to support early resolution of legal problems for those experiencing mental illness, and for mental health workers in Domestic Violence Units and Health Justice Partnerships to support women who have experienced family violence
    • $6.3 million to increase support services for fly-in fly-out and drive-in drive-out workers
    • $5.7 million to build on the Individual Placement and Support program to assist people with mental illness to participate in the workforce, and
    • $0.9 million to continue the Ahead for Business digital hub, supporting small business owners to take proactive, preventive and early steps to improve their mental health.
  • $298.1 million towards suicide prevention:
    • $12.8 million for a National Suicide Prevention Office to oversee the national whole‑of‑government approach to suicide prevention
    • $61.6 million to expand the National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program to increase investment in whole of population suicide prevention activities and services
    • $12 million to continue the delivery of local suicide prevention initiatives across Australia to the former National Suicide Prevention Trial sites
    • In conjunction with the states and territories, we will:
      • provide aftercare services for all Australians discharged from hospital following a suicide attempt, and trials for aftercare services for anyone experiencing suicidal crisis, but who do not attend a hospital
      • provide national suicide postvention services which help those bereaved or impacted by suicide, including families, friends, workplaces, schools, community groups, frontline responders and witnesses, and
      • establish a national Distress Intervention trial program which will reach people earlier in crisis where it first manifests and provide immediate support.
  • $1.4 billion for treatment:
    • The heart of the Government’s reform is to create a national network of multidisciplinary mental health treatment centres for adults, youth and children to contribute to addressing the ‘missing middle’ service gap, based on three models:
      • Head to Health adult mental health treatment centres: We will improve access to community-based mental health services, including through the initial establishment of eight new centres, 24 new satellite centres, and ongoing funding for eight existing centres. We will also establish a dedicated phone service to support intake, assessment and referral, at a cost of $487.2 million
        • The Government will also work in partnership with state and territory governments to continue to expand the network of community-based adult mental health services
      • headspace youth treatment centres: We will continue to safeguard the wellbeing of young Australians aged 12–25 by strengthening, enhancing, and expanding the headspace network, at a cost of $278.6 million. This includes:
        • expanding the national headspace network by establishing ten new headspace centres and upgrading five satellite services, bringing the total number of headspace services across Australia to 164, and
        • working jointly with states and territories to boost clinical capacity at existing headspace services.
      • Head to Health Kids: In partnership with state and territory governments, the Government will create up to 15 new Head to Health Kids mental health and wellbeing centres for children aged 0–12 years. These centres will provide multidisciplinary support for infants, children and their parents, and improve early intervention outcomes for children’s mental health, at a cost of $54.2 million.
    • $26.9 million to provide support for people with eating disorders and their families, including:
      • $13 million to establish a National Eating Disorder Research Centre, and
      • $2.5 million for workforce credentialing to guarantee access to high quality subsidised care for people with an eating disorder.
    • $288.5 million to include Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) therapy on the Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) for patients with medication-resistant major depressive disorder
    • $111.4 million to support the take up of group therapy sessions and participation of family and carers in treatment provided under the Better Access initiative, and
    • $171.3 million for continuity of psychosocial support services for people with a severe psychosocial disability, who are currently not supported by National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
  • $107 million for supporting the vulnerable:
    • $79 million for key initiatives under a renewed National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy, including:
      • the development of community integrated regional suicide prevention plans, and
      • provision of local suicide prevention services, such as culturally sensitive aftercare and 24/7 crisis support services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
    • $16.9 million mental health early intervention supports and preventive measures for migrants and multicultural communities, and address the cultural competence of the broader health workforce through the Program of Assistance for Survivors of Torture and Trauma, and Mental Health Australia for their Embrace Framework, and
    • $11.1 million to improve the outcomes for people with complex mental health needs, including cognitive disability and autism.
  • $202 million for strengthening workforce and governance arrangements:
    • $58.8 million to grow the mental health workforce by providing:
      • $27.8 million to increase the number of nurses, psychologists, and allied health practitioners in mental health settings through scholarships and clinical placements
      • $11 million to grow the psychiatrist workforce with more training places, supporting regional and remote training pathways and promoting it as a career pathway
      • $8.3 million to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation in the mental health workforce and offer training for culturally safe treatment
      • $3.1 million to boost and support the mental health peer workforce through scholarships and professional collaboration
      • $2.4 million to continue mental health training for practitioners in aged care and supporting collaboration through the Mental Health Professionals’ Network
      • $1 million to reduce mental health stigma among health practitioners, promoting it as a preferred career option, and
      • $0.3 million to identify opportunities to boost the skills of the mental health workforce who work with children and families.
    • $15.9 million to support GPs and other medical practitioners to provide primary mental health care
    • $7.3 million towards additional staff resources for the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) to support the Australian Government’s mental health and suicide prevention reform agenda, and
    • $117.2 million to establish a comprehensive evidence base that measures whether Australia’s mental health system is operating effectively, enables services to be delivered to those who need them, and improves mental health outcomes for Australians.

PREVENTIVE HEALTH

The Morrison Government is continuing our investment in preventive health and early intervention, protecting Australians from the impact of chronic conditions like cancer, and reducing the harm caused by alcohol and illicit substance use. Our investment of $250.9 million over four years will ensure that all Australians lead healthy and productive lives.
The soon-to-be-completed National Preventive Health Strategy 2021–2030 will assist Australians to consider how they can improve their health and wellbeing, and address early signs before it impacts them and their families. It will also reduce the overall burden on the health system that comes with supporting patients with persistent and chronic conditions.
Our Government is also significantly investing in improving cancer screening for life-threatening cancers, including lung, breast and cervical cancer. Early detection provides the best chance of beating cancer and increases survival rates. In Australia, lung cancer is the fifth most common cancer and just 18 per cent of Australians survive 5 years beyond their diagnosis.
Key investments include:

  • $1.9 million to kick-start immediate priorities outlined in the National Preventive Health Strategy 2021-2030, once finalised
  • $125.9 million to improve cancer screening and save lives, including $6.9 million towards five lung cancer care nurses to provide support to patients and their families and for lung cancer related research activities, $32.8 million to support cervical screening programs, and $67.6 million to the BreastScreen Australia program
  • $1.8 million to increase the number of stillbirth autopsies undertaken, and develop prevention strategies
  • $74.1 million for alcohol and drug services, including $16.8 million for drug and alcohol treatment services including residential services, and $1.5 million for the successful Hello Sunday Morning Daybreak Program, and
  • $13.7 million to support the rollout of a world-leading program to prevent pre-term birth.

SPORT

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption to sport around Australia, however Australia’s athletes and the sporting public are returning in COVID-safe ways with enthusiasm.
The Morrison Government will provide $245.8 million in funding for sport. This includes support for our Olympians and Paralympians, and grants for National Sporting Organisations to support 56 high-performance programs and more than 2,600 athletes and 320 staff and other community sporting initiatives.
We are also providing support and $17 million in funding into Basketball Australia and Football Australia, as we prepare to host some of the world’s most high profile sporting events, including the women’s basketball and soccer world cups in 2022 and 2023.
The Morrison Government is also investing more than $35 million to boost sports integrity to address the risks posed by increasingly insidious forms of manipulation and corruption.
Key spending in sport includes:

  • $40.8 million to continue the successful Sporting Schools program for a further two years, benefiting around 6,500 primary and secondary schools and up to 6 million student participants
  • $14.9 million for Sport Integrity Australia to maintain the agency’s anti-doping, criminal intelligence and administrative capabilities
  • $132.8 million for high performance grants
  • $3.5 million towards operational costs for the Australian Paralympic Team’s participation in the Tokyo Paralympic Games due to the impact of COVID-19
  • $12 million for Football Australia’s high performance program for the Matildas in the lead up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, and community engagement encouraging women and girls’ participation
  • $5 million for Basketball Australia to plan and deliver the FIBA Women’s World Cup 2022 and increase female participation and leadership in basketball, and
  • $3.4 million for World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited testing lab at the Australian Sports Drug Testing Laboratory (ASDTL) on a sustainable basis.

GUARANTEEING MEDICARE AND ACCESS TO MEDICINES

Guaranteeing Medicare
The Morrison Government will invest $125.7 billion over four years, an increase of over $6 billion since last year’s Budget, in Medicare, including record funding of $29.7 billion in 2021–22, and $30.5 billion in 2022–23, $32 billion in 2023–24 and $33.5 billion in 2024–25.
The Morrison Government is continuing to extend a series of primary care measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic through to 31 December 2021, including telehealth, and continuing to implement reforms to the MBS from the Medicare Review Taskforce recommendations, and recommendations from the Medical Services Advisory Committee.
This incudes:

  • $711.7 million invested for new and amended listings on the MBS
  • $288.5 million to include rTMS therapy on the MBS for patients with medication-resistant major depressive disorder
  • $18.8 million for a new Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) item that utilises external beam radiotherapy for paediatric and rare cancers
  • $40.5 million for ambulatory blood pressure monitoring – a new service for diagnosing high blood pressure that is more accurate through continuous monitoring over 24 hours
  • $95.9 million for five new MBS items for pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT) of embryos for specific genetic or chromosomal abnormalities prior to implantation and pregnancy. Currently couples or individuals who know they are carriers of serious genetic disorders can only access PGT if they are able to pay privately, and
  • $22 million for gynaecological procedures, including long-term reversible contraceptives and Assisted ReproCaductive Technology.

STRENGTHENING PRIMARY HEALTH

The Morrison Government continues to improve access to primary health care for all Australians, with an additional investment of $1.8 billion in primary care, including initiatives across the aged care and mental health pillars, as well as the continuation of our Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This Budget includes investment of $204.6 million to extend telehealth, bringing total investment to date to $3.6 billion, $87.5 million for the extended operation of up to 150 GPRCs, both through to 31 December 2021, and the $1.9 billion commitment towards the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.
Key measures in this Budget include:

  • $107.9 million for a new National Partnership Agreement (NPA) for Adult Dental Services, helping states and territories provide public dental services and $7.3 million for an extension of the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) to children 2 years and younger
  • $71.9 million providing an additional 12 months funding for the PHN’s After Hours Program
  • $2.5 million for workforce credentialing to guarantee access to high quality, Medicare-subsidised care for people with an eating disorder, as part of a $26.9 million investment in addressing eating disorders
  • $50.7 million to continue to develop an ICT system that will enable a Voluntary Patient Registration Initiative, to be known as MyGP, which will lift the quality of services delivered to Australian patients through continuity of care
  • $301.8 million towards the next wave of My Health Record (MHR) capitalising on the connections already in place and ensuring a more coordinated healthcare future for Australia, and
  • $32.3 million for continued funding for the 2018–2022 Intergovernmental Agreement on National Digital Health, ensuring interoperability within Australia’s national digital health infrastructure.
  • In response to the Aged Care Royal Commission, the Morrison Government will invest $365.7 million to improve access to primary care for senior Australians and to better support their transition between the aged care and health care systems. This investment includes:
    • $68.1 million to double the maximum yearly incentive payment for face-to-face services by GPs within residential aged care facilities, through the Aged Care Access Incentive.
    • $36.5 million to continue the Greater Choice for At Home Palliative Care initiative in all 31 PHNs, and
    • $202.3 million for Primary Health Networks to support the health of senior Australians, including telehealth, out of hours support, and dementia pathways to support assessment and referral.
  • The Morrison Government’s National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan includes significant investments in primary health including:
    • $1.4 billion in high quality and person-centred treatment, which includes the development of a national network of mental health treatments centres for adults, youth and children through the Head to Health and headspace programs
    • $34.2 million to support GPs in their role as a key entry point into the mental health system by expanding and implementing the Initial Assessment and Referral (IAR) tool in primary care settings
    • $27.8 million to grow the mental health workforce, including nurses, psychologists, allied health practitioners, psychiatrists, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health workforce, mental health peer workforce, practitioners in aged care, and promoting mental health as a career option within the health workforce, and
    • $15.9 million to support GPs and other medical practitioners to provide primary mental health care.
  • $63.3 million to prioritise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and ageing outcomes, in addition to significant investments in aged care and mental health, the Morrison Government is committing:
    • $22.6 million to reform the Practice Incentives Program – Indigenous Health Incentive, encouraging continuity of care and extending the program to children under 15 years and for GP mental health care plans
    • $12 million for the Rheumatic Fever Strategy to protect against these entirely preventable illnesses – acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease
    • $19.1 million to continue to improve Australia’s trachoma elimination program, supporting the elimination of this blindness-causing infection in 2022, and
    • 30 workplace training packages will be allocated to Aboriginal Community Controlled Heath Organisations, out of 90 places worth $9.6 million, through the Allied Health Rural Generalist Pathway.

IMPROVING ACCESS TO MEDICINES

The Government will invest $43 billion over four years in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), which continues to provide Australians with access to subsidised medicines for a wide range of illnesses through hospitals and community pharmacy. In 2020–21, our Government introduced the New Medicines Funding Guarantee to meet the cost of future, new and amended PBS medicines. This ensures the inclusion of new life saving medicines will never be jeopardised over a matter of funding, and the Government will continue to approve and list all medicines recommended by the medical experts.
Since February 2021, we have included additional medicines on the PBS, subsidising treatments for depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), pulmonary arterial hypertension, asthma and Parkinson’s disease.

  • From June 2021, Emgality® (galcanezumab) for the treatment of chronic migraine which, for around 10,000 patients will mean they are not faced with out of pocket costs in excess of $6,800 each year
  • From May 2021, Australia’s first medicinal cannabis product has been added to the PBS, Epidyolex® (cannabidiol) for use in the treatment of Dravet syndrome, which will save more than 116 Australian patients around $24,000 a year
  • From April 2021, Kisqali® (ribociclib + fulvestrant) which for around 1,600 patients battling locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer, they will no longer have costs of $50,000 per treatment
  • From March 2021, Dupixent® (dupilumab) has been added to the PBS, which will mean around 3,600 Australian patients with severe atopic dermatitis are not facing an out of pocket bill of $22,800 per year for their medication, and
  • From March 2021, Tulicity® (dulaglutide) has been added to the PBS, for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus will mean some 12,000 patients will not have to pay out-of-pocket costs of more than $1,700 per year.

Our Government will provide an additional investment of $3.9 million to continue the Take Home Naloxone (THN) pilot program for a further 12 months, providing medication which can temporarily reverse an opioid overdose or adverse reaction to at risk Australians. The pilot is already operating in NSW, SA and WA.
The Government will also continue to work with the medicines and technology sector to continue streamlining and deregulating processes to apply for reimbursement of new products and services. The Government is investing $36.0 million in the Health Products Portal, a new one stop shop for applying electronically to the PBAC, MSAC and Prostheses List for reimbursement of medicines, medical and diagnostic services and medical devices. This will also speed up access to new therapies for Australian patients.

RURAL HEALTH STRATEGY

The Morrison Government is committed to ensuring Australians living in regional, rural and remote areas can access high quality, timely and live-saving healthcare when and where they are needed.
For the first time, the Government will implement a progressive incentive schedule, which increases bulk billing payments for doctors based on remoteness.
Scaling the Rural Bulk Billing Incentive will better recognise that doctors in rural and remote areas face higher operating costs, smaller patient populations, increased complexity in patient care, and carry a greater burden of responsibility for the healthcare needs of people living in these communities.
The Morrison Government is also directly investing $123 million in the rural health workforce and training to improve access to health in areas outside our big cities and to increase the opportunities for a rewarding career in rural, regional and remote communities.
Key investments in rural and regional health are:

  • $65.8 million to increase the Rural Bulk Billing Incentive for doctors working in rural towns and remote areas
  • $12.4 million to expand opportunities for early-career doctors to work in rural communities while they complete their medical training through the new John Flynn Prevocational Doctor Program
  • $0.3 million to develop a new model and streamline the Rural Procedural Grants Program and the Practice Incentives Program procedural GP payments into a new rural generalist GP support program for GPs with advanced skills
  • $9.6 million to add 90 workplace training packages through the Allied Health Rural Generalist Pathway, with 30 allocated to Aboriginal Community Controlled Heath Organisations, and to introduce 30 new Allied Health Assistant packages
  • $29.5 million to establish an innovative funding pool for non-GP medical specialist training from 1 January 2022, and
  • $1.8 million to expand the trial of collaborative primary care models that has been running in five rural communities in western and southern NSW into other states and territories.
  • $22 million to improve and modernise the PHI Prostheses List. This will reduce medical device costs and continue to make PHI more affordable for patients, and
  • $5.1 million to introduce an improved certification process when admitting patients to hospital for services normally delivered out of hospital. This will ensure hospital costs are funded for those services which will deliver better patient health outcomes.

SUPPORTING OUR HOSPITALS

The Morrison Government is continuing its record level investment in public hospitals, including funding under the 2020–25 National Health Reform Agreement (NHRA) and the National Partnership on COVID-19, with total investment of $135.4 billion over five years, up from $13.3 billion in 2012–13 to $25.6 billion in 2021–22 and $29.9 billion in 2024–25.
We are also committed to reforming private health insurance (PHI), making it simpler and more affordable for all Australians. Our reforms over recent years have resulted in the lowest consumer premium changes in more than 20 years and improved access to care and affordability for young people and people with a disability.
This Budget includes measures to improve sustainability and affordability of PHI into the future. The current policy settings for the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) and PHI Rebate income tiers will continue for a further two years, allowing an in-depth study of the effectiveness of current regulatory settings.
Other key investments to support our hospitals include:

LIFE-SAVING AND JOB-CREATING MEDICAL RESEARCH

The Morrison Government is investing $6.7 billion over four years in the 2021–22 Budget to drive world-leading research, leading to improvements in health outcomes for Australians, as well as creating jobs and economic growth.
The amount of funding provided for research projects through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) has grown from $61 million in 2016–17 and is projected be $650 million in 2022–23 and beyond.
This Budget includes significant investment in medical research, including:

  • $6.7 billion over the next four years for:
    • MRFF ($2.4 billion)
    • National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) ($3.6 billion), and
    • Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF) ($500 million).
  • $85 million for new program rounds opening 12 May 2021, including:
    • $70 million for 2021 Clinical Trials Activity, Rare Cancer, Rare Diseases and Unmet Need program, and
    • $15 million for 2021 COVID-19 Health Impact and Vaccination Schedules.

Other life-saving and job creating research investments include:

  • $4.4 million for the staged introduction of mitochondrial donation into clinical and research settings in Australia, following the passage of the Mitochondrial Donation Law Reform (Maeve’s Law) Bill 2021 earlier this year
  • $6 million to enhance Australia’s status as a leading option to conduct clinical trials by continuing the successful Encouraging More Clinical Trials in Australia program, and
  • $4.8 million to continue the Blood Borne Viruses (BBV) and Sexually Transmissible Infections (STI) Research Program, reducing the incidence HIV, hepatitis B and C, chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhoea.

Infrastructure investment securing Australia’s economic recovery

The Morrison-McCormack Government is securing Australia’s recovery with a record investment in infrastructure as part of the 2021-22 Budget, which will support and secure jobs, drive growth and help rebuild Australia’s economy from the COVID-19 pandemic.
This $110 billion, 10-year infrastructure pipeline forms part of our Economic Recovery Plan and will secure Australia’s world-leading economic recovery by delivering nation-building infrastructure projects, water security to inland Australia, meeting our national freight challenge and getting Australians home sooner and safer.
This includes an additional $15.2 billion in new commitments to infrastructure projects through the 2021-22 Budget, supporting an estimated 30,000 jobs across Australia.
DELIVERING THE NATION-BUILDING PROJECTS AUSTRALIA NEEDS
As part of our plan to secure Australia’s recovery, the Government is focusing on new commitments in major infrastructure projects right across the country, including:

  • $2.0 billion for Great Western Highway Upgrade – Katoomba to Lithgow – Construction of East and West Sections in New South Wales;
  • $2.0 billion investment to deliver a new Melbourne Intermodal Terminal
  • $400.0 million for Bruce Highway Additional Funding in Queensland;
  • $237.5 million for METRONET: Hamilton Street / Wharf Street Grade Separations and Elevation of Associated Stations in Western Australia;
  • $161.6 million for the Truro Bypass in South Australia;
  • $150.0 million for National Network Highway Upgrades (Phase 2) in the Northern Territory;
  • $80.0 million for Bass Highway Safety and Freight Efficiency Upgrades in Tasmania; and
  • $26.5 million for William Hovell Drive Duplication in the Australian Capital Territory.

This is in addition to the Government’s significant existing investment in projects that will define the success of local communities for years to come, including the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport, due to open in 2026, Sydney Metro Western Sydney Airport and the much-needed Melbourne Airport Rail Link.
More than 220 major Australian Government funded projects are currently under construction. These projects are expected to support around 100,000 jobs during their construction lives.
The Government will also commit up to $2.0 billion to deliver a new Intermodal Freight Terminal in Melbourne. This will support both the Victorian and national freight networks, creating up to 1,350 jobs during peak construction and a further 550 jobs during peak operation.
Additional capacity delivered by the intermodal terminal is required to meet the future freight needs of Victoria and Australia’s domestic and international supply chains, as well as realising the full benefits of Inland Rail.
This is part of the Government’s commitment to funding transformational infrastructure to increase the productivity, efficiency and capacity of the national freight network. This investment will also support the Australian Government’s National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
LIFE-SAVING ROAD SAFETY INVESTMENT
Road crashes cost the national economy approximately $30 billion a year, but this figure is far outstripped by the immeasurable suffering of families impacted by road deaths and serious injuries.
The Budget backs an additional $1.0 billion for the now $3.0 billion Road Safety Program. With work having commenced in January 2021, almost $1.0 billion for approximately 700 projects has been approved under Tranche 1 of the program Future tranches will continue installing lifesaving road safety upgrades to prevent fatal and serious crashes across all states and territories. This funding is estimated to support around 4,500 jobs, taking the total jobs supported across the nation by the Road Safety Program to around 13,500.
The Office of Road Safety will continue to play a significant role in improving road safety in Australia and the Budget will provide $5.1 million of new funding over four years to support this important work.
LOCAL JOBS AND INFRASTRUCTURE IN YOUR COMMUNITY

The Budget will provide an additional $1.0 billion for the highly successful, now $2.5 billion Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, to deliver the local projects that matter to communities, while stimulating economies across the nation. This funding is estimated to support around 3,500 jobs, taking the total jobs supported across the nation by the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program to around 9,000.
A further $40 million over two years is being invested in South Australian Local Roads Supplementary Funding, which will improve road safety and help ensure a lower road toll on local roads in South Australia.
An additional $28.2 million is also being provided to extend the Stronger Communities Programme, which provides grants of between $2,500 and $20,000 across the country to community organisations and local governments for small capital projects that deliver social benefits for local communities.
BUILDING WATER INFRASTRUCTURE FOR A SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL FUTURE
The Government is continuing to deliver on a National Water Grid to help improve water security in our regions. The 2021–22 Budget invests up to a further $258.0 million, including up to $160 million through the National Water Grid Connections pathway, from the $3.5 billion National Water Grid Fund towards the construction of new and augmented water infrastructure projects, building a more resilient and secure Australia.
The Government’s ongoing investment in water infrastructure builds on the eight construction projects already completed since our establishment of the National Water Grid Authority in late 2019 and brings the total number of construction projects in the investment pipeline to 30.
The new and augmented construction projects being funded in partnership with states include:

  • Eurobodalla Southern Storage (New South Wales) – $51.2 million.
  • Werribee Irrigation District Modernisation (Victoria) – $11.0 million.
  • Recycled Water on the Bellarine (Victoria) – $5.5 million.
  • Warwick Recycled Water for Agriculture – Recycled Water Treatment Upgrade (Queensland) – $0.5 million.
  • An additional $7.5 million for Rookwood Weir to deliver water security in North Queensland by raising the weir wall a further 700 millimetres to deliver an additional 10,000 megalitres. This brings total Australian Government investment in the project to $183.6 million.

STRENGTHENING OUR REGIONS THROUGH CONTINUED INVESTMENT
The 2021–22 Budget continues to build a strong regional Australia through extensions to community grants programs that invest directly in economic and social infrastructure – creating jobs and building stronger regional communities. Funding will flow directly to regions through the following initiatives:

  • An additional $250 million for a sixth round of the successful Building Better Regions Fund, which builds on more than $1.0 billion already committed to our regional towns and cities from the Fund.
  • The Australian Government has brought forward approximately 50 per cent of the 2021–22 Financial Assistance Grant funding. This cash injection of more than $1.3 billion will give councils vital support to assist with the combined impacts of drought, bushfires, floods and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through record infrastructure investment, the Morrison-McCormack Government’s 2021-22 Budget is securing Australia’s recovery, creating and supporting jobs, driving growth and laying the foundations for the next stage of our Economic Recovery Plan.

Rebuilding the economy and securing Australia’s recovery

The Morrison Government’s plan to secure Australia’s recovery will rebuild our economy and create more jobs to ensure we comeback stronger from the COVID-19 induced recession.
Australia entered the crisis from a position of economic strength having brought the Budget back to balance for the first time in 11 years.
This provided us with the fiscal firepower to support Australians when they needed it most.
As part of our COVID-19 response the Government has committed $291 billion or 14.7 per cent of GDP in direct economic support for individuals, households and businesses.
As a result of this support, we are well on the road to recovery.
The Australian economy has rebounded at its fastest pace on record over the latter half of last year, outperforming all major advanced economies in 2020.
With JobKeeper having played its role and nearly one million jobs added since May 2020, there are now more people in work than ever before.
The 2021-22 Budget will consolidate these gains and put us on course for the unemployment rate to fall below 5 per cent, reaching 4¾ per cent by the June quarter 2023.
Our economic response to COVID-19 has come at a significant fiscal cost.
The COVID-19 recession will see the deficit reach $161.0 billion in 2020-21, improving to $106.6 billion in 2021-22, before further improving to $57.0 billion in 2024-25.
The 2020-21 deficit is $52.7 billion lower than was expected just over 6 months ago at last year’s Budget, assisted by more Australians being in work and less people on welfare.
While the Government’s actions to protect lives and livelihoods has come at a cost, the Budget demonstrates that our fiscal position remains strong and sustainable with Australia’s debt remaining low by international standards.
Gross debt is expected to be lower at 30 June 2021 compared to the forecast in the 2020-21 Budget down from an expected $872.0 billion or 44.8 per cent of GDP to $829.0 billion or 40.2 per cent of GDP.
Gross debt will also be lower in every year over the medium term compared to the 2020-21 Budget and stabilise at a lower level at around 51 per cent of GDP.
Net debt will increase to $617.5 billion or 30.0 per cent of GDP at 30 June 2021 before peaking at 40.9 per cent of GDP at 30 June 2025, and declining to 37.0 per cent of GDP at the end of the medium term. This compares to the forecast peak of 43.8 per cent of GDP from last year’s Budget.
By comparison, Australia’s net debt as a share of the economy will peak at half that in the United Kingdom and United States and around a third of that in Japan today.
While the euro area has fallen back into recession, Australia is recovering strongly.
The outlook for real GDP growth has strengthened in the near term and real GDP is forecast to grow by 1¼ per cent in 2020-21, rising to 4¼ per cent in 2021-22 and moderating to 2½ per cent in 2022‑23 as the recovery stabilises.
By rebuilding the economy and reducing net debt as a share of the economy we will be in a strong position to secure Australia’s recovery and repair the budget.
The Morrison Government’s economic plan is working.
The 2021-22 Budget sets out the next stage of our plan to secure Australia’s recovery and set Australia up for the future.

Budget Delivering for Australian Women

The Morrison Government has announced a landmark package of around $3.4 billion in new measures to improve outcomes for women’s safety, economic security, health and wellbeing in the 2021–22 Budget.
This includes the Government investing $1.1 billion in funding for women’s safety; $1.9 billion to support women’s economic security including $1.7 billion to improve the affordability of child care for Australian families and $351.6 million in women’s health and wellbeing measures.
“Our approach to developing this Women’s Budget Statement has been informed by our values of respect, dignity, choice, equality of opportunity and justice – these are fundamental to the safety and economic security of women in Australia,” Prime Minister Morrison said.
The package builds on the Government’s investment for women in Australia, including under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010-22 (the National Plan) and the 2018 and 2020 Women’s Economic Security Statements.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said the package covered three key pillars —women’s safety, economic security; and women’s health and wellbeing.
“Everyone has a basic right to safety, equality and respect in our society, and we all have a responsibility to address gender imbalances in Australia to create real change and genuine advances for women and girls,” Minister Payne said.
WOMEN’S SAFETY
Minister for Families and Social Services and Minister for Women’s Safety, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, said this package represents the Commonwealth’s down payment on the next National Plan which will commence in mid-2022, with further investment to follow after consultations including the National Women’s Safety Summit to be held on 29-30 July this year.
“Since 2013, the Australian Government has invested more than $1 billion to prevent and respond to violence against women and their children. This budget is yet another important step toward our target to end violence against women and their children,” Minister Ruston said.
The package includes a new, two-year National Partnership Agreement in which the Morrison Government will provide up to $261.4 million to partner with states and territories to boost local frontline services and trial new initiatives during the transition to the next National Plan. States and territories will be asked to contribute funding to the agreement reflecting their primary role and responsibilities in the delivery of frontline services.
The Government will commit $164.8 million over three years to establish Escaping Violence Payments to provide up to $1,500 in immediate cash and a further $3,500 in kind for goods or direct payments of bonds, school fees or other items. The payments will be provided under a two-year trial through a domestic violence frontline service and include wrap around support for women and their children. The Safe Places emergency accommodation program will also be expanded with additional funding of $12.6 million to support women and children experiencing family and domestic violence.
The Government will build on its efforts to prevent violence with a $35.1 million investment including expanding national primary prevention campaigns to address new and emerging issues targeted at young people as well as continuing the award-winning campaign, Stop It At The Start.
An additional $26.0 million will be provided to Family Violence Prevention Legal Services (FVPLS) to improve support services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Funding will be directed to improving the quality, capability and cultural safety of indigenous and non-indigenous family violence services.
The Government will also invest $31.6million over five years to establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Personal Safety Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This will enable us, for the first time, to measure the prevalence of family, domestic and sexual violence experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls. We will also commit funding to establish a new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council.
The Government will invest $29.3 million over three years to improve migrant and refugee women’s safety through early intervention, grass-roots programs, and social and economic inclusion support. The Government will also invest an additional $10.3 million over two years to extend the new pilot program supporting women on temporary visas experiencing family violence for an extra year, making it a two-year trial ending in 2023. This will provide support for women who may be unable to access social services and welfare payments due to their visa status. It includes access to support through the Australian Red Cross, with women able to receive up to $3,000 to help them cover expenses such as food, accommodation, utilities and other essentials and medical care. Extended funding will also be provided to nine Community and Women’s Legal Centres nationally to help this group of women in these challenging situations access legal assistance and migration support.
$26.2 million over four years will address the increasing use of technology facilitated abuse, improve online safety for women and girls and raise awareness of the Online Safety Bill.
Under this investment, the Office of the eSafety Commissioner will pilot a program to develop software to better investigate cases of image-based abuse and provide targeted support for children. A further $4.9 million will also be invested in expanding support for men at risk of using violence and trialling new perpetrator interventions, including funding for No to Violence program and Men’s Line, which provides advice and information to men about services available to them such as a men’s behaviour change program.
IMPROVING OUR FAMILY AND JUSTICE RESPONSES
Attorney-General, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash, said having a family law system that was safe and fit for purpose to protect and assist victim-survivors of family violence was a key priority of the Budget.
“We are committing more than $400 million across a range of measures to provide additional legal assistance funding for women, and to boost investment in Children’s Contact Services to reduce safety risks and expand Family Advocacy Support Services.”
These measures include $129.0 million in additional legal assistance funding to women’s legal centres to help women access justice. This funding will be directed to women’s legal centres, to enable these providers to respond to increasing demand for domestic violence assistance.
An extra $101.4 million will be put towards Children’s Contact Services (CCSs) to reduce safety risks to family law system users, including the establishment of an additional 20 CCSs.
Almost $85 million will be invested in the Family Advocacy Support Services to maintain, enhance and expand access to their services.
More than $60.8 million will fund the reform of family law case management in the federal family courts to improve outcomes and better meet the needs of families and children.
ADDRESSING SEXUAL HARASSMENT
The Government will invest an additional $9.3 million to further implement recommendations made in the Respect@Work report. This includes funding to support the Respect@Work Council to implement a range of practical measures highlighted in the Roadmap for Respect, and driving amendments to improve legal and regulatory responses to workplace sexual harassment. It also includes interim funding to continue the targeted delivery of support for women experiencing workplace sexual harassment, while the Government consults with states and territories in line with its commitment in the Roadmap for Respect.
We are also investing $5.3 million over three years to build evidence and further develop primary prevention initiatives to respond to sexual harassment. We will also invest $6.0 million over four years for the Workplace Gender Equality Agency to work with the Respect@Work Council and extend reporting to the Australian public sector.
INCREASING WOMEN’S WORKFORCE PARTICIPATION AND SECURING THEIR ECONOMIC FUTURES
The Minister for Women’s Economic Security, Jane Hume said “women’s workforce participation is a social and economic priority and critical to Australia’s recovery, which is why the Government is prioritising investment in childcare.”
The Budget includes targeted measures to increase choice and flexibility for women by addressing barriers to working in the paid workforce, and supporting women to build financially secure futures.
As part of our plan to secure Australia’s recovery, the Government is investing an additional $1.7 billion in childcare, building on around $10.0 billion already provided annually. We are removing the childcare subsidy annual cap and, starting in July 2022, increased childcare subsidies will be available to families with two or more young children, benefitting around 250,000 families. This will help give families greater choice and flexibility to manage work and care.
The Government is investing an additional $12.2 million for the National Careers Institute Partnership Grants Program for projects that facilitate more career opportunities and supported career pathways for women.
In recognition of the economic and social benefits of home ownership, we will establish the Family Home Guarantee to assist 10,000 eligible single parents with dependent children, the vast majority of whom are women, to enter the housing market with a two per cent deposit.
The Government is also investing $42.4 million over seven years to support more than 230 women to pursue higher level STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) qualifications.
The Government is focused on improving retirement outcomes for women by increasing superannuation coverage and making our system fairer. This includes removing the $450 per month threshold under which employers are exempt from paying employees, predominantly women, the Superannuation Guarantee. The Government is also extending access to the downsizer contribution and removing the work test to improve the system’s flexibility.
PROMOTING WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AND CHOICES
The Government has made significant strides in its commitment to see more women serving on Australian Government boards.
“I am pleased to announce that as at 31 December 2020, we have a record 49.5 per cent of positions on Australian Government boards filled by women, which is a significant achievement and the highest overall result since reporting began in 2009,” said Minister Payne.
Women in visible positions of leadership is vital in bringing about cultural change, ensuring respect for women in the workplace and providing role models. That is why we are again investing $38.3 million over five years from 2021-22 into expanding the successful Women’s Leadership and Development Program.
This program funds innovative projects, many of which assist women into leadership roles, and builds on the Government’s $47.9 million investment in the 2020 Women’s Economic Security Statement.
Sport is a fundamental part of Australian life and women athletes are inspiring the next generation to get involved. The Government is investing $17.0 million to support a number of world class sporting events over coming years including eight additional Matildas international matches and the FIBA Women’s World Cup for basketball. This funding also supports development programs for women and girls in football and basketball.
SUPPORTING WOMEN’S HEALTH AND PROMOTING WELLBEING
The Australian Government is committed to promoting the health of all Australian women and girls throughout their lives. The health of Australian women and girls is critical to their social and economic wellbeing. The Women’s Budget Statement highlights a number of targeted measures.
To ensure that Australian women have access to life-saving medicines and access to essential services, the Government is investing in new and amended PBS listings to treat a range of conditions, including breast cancer. The Government is also investing $148.0 million in women’s preventive health measures to further reduce the personal and financial costs of ill‑health.
This Budget demonstrates the Government’s continued commitment to creating more opportunities for women to fulfil their potential. To ensure Australia achieves the greatest and most enduring gains for women and girls, everyone needs to play a part — government, business, community and individuals. In this way, all Australians gain, and we are a better nation for it.
For more information, including the full set of measures and detailed analysis is outlined below, you can also read the Government’s Women’s Budget Statement.

Historic $2.3 billion National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan

The Morrison Government is continuing to guarantee essential services by investing $2.3 billion in the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan to lead landmark reform in mental health support and treatment for Australians in need.
Based on the principles of Prevention, Compassion and Care, the Plan will invest $1.4 billion in high quality and person-centred treatment, which includes the development of a national network of mental health treatment centres for adults, youth and children through the Head to Health and headspace programs.
Mental health and suicide prevention are key priorities for the Morrison Government in keeping Australians safe and a central feature of Australia’s Long-Term National Health Plan.
Every year more than 3,000 people lose their lives to suicide, and suicide remains the leading cause of death for Australians between the ages of 15–44 years.
In addition, one in five Australians experience some form of chronic or episodic mental illness each year. The personal toll on the lives of individuals and their families and carers is immense, and also has a profound effect on our society, health and social systems, and economy.
The Morrison Government is committed to working towards zero suicides and transforming the mental health system to ensure that all Australians can access the right care and essential services whenever and wherever they need.
We have undertaken an ambitious reform plan, recognising that Australians need a system that acts early to help people before mental health conditions and suicidal distress worsen, and that whole-of-government and whole-of-community changes are needed to deliver preventative, compassionate, and effective care.
The $2.3 billion Plan builds on the Morrison Government’s significant existing investment in mental health services for Australians throughout the 2019–20 bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic, and brings the Government’s total estimated mental health spend to $6.3 billion in 2021-22, an increase of around 90 per cent since 2012–13.
The Plan is based on 5 key pillars:

  • Prevention and early intervention
  • Suicide prevention
  • Treatment
  • Supporting the vulnerable, and
  • Workforce and governance.

The Plan helps set Australia up for the future by introducing landmark reforms and will transform mental health care in Australia in several fundamental ways, including by:

  • building a world-class Head to Health digital platform to harness the power of technology to help Australians dealing with mental health issues
  • ensuring that our mental health and suicide prevention system reaches places where Australians work, learn and live – not just at emergency departments and health services
  • enhancing mental health care in primary care by supporting our GPs, strengthening the involvement of consumers and carers, and expanding Medicare services, so that Australians can access new and innovative types of mental health care
  • establishing a network of multidisciplinary mental health centres for adults, young people and children through the adult and child Head to Health and youth headspace programs
  • embedding multidisciplinary teams, care coordination, consistent intake and assessment tools, greater data collection and continuous evaluation into the system to ensure it is joined up, easy to navigate and, most importantly, patient focused
  • providing every Australian who is discharged from hospital following a suicide attempt with appropriate, ongoing follow up care in the community, and
  • improving the efficiency of the system so that resources are invested in delivering truly person-centred care.

This $2.3 billion investment is the first phase of the response to the findings of the Productivity Commission’s (PC) Inquiry into Mental Health and the National Suicide Prevention Adviser’s (NSPA) Final Report.
The Government has accepted all of the recommendations of both reports in full, in part or in principle. The majority of these recommendations require collaboration with state and territory governments, with a number to be pursued jointly through a new National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Agreement.
Pillar 1: Prevention and early intervention ($248.6 million)
The Government is committing $248.6 million to prevention and early intervention, guaranteeing Australians access to these essential services. Key to this is an investment of $111.2 million in digital services, including the creation of a single, world-class digital platform under Head to Health that will provide online professional counselling, peer support, clinical support and referrals.
This also includes $77.3 million to continue support for existing digital mental health services, and to provide additional funding in 2021–22 for support services that manage increased demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2019–20 summer bushfires.
$13.1 million will also be provided to support ReachOut Australia to continue delivering free and high quality digital mental health services to young Australians aged 12–25 as well as their parents, carers and schools.
Additionally, we will invest $47.4 million to support the mental health and wellbeing of new and expectant parents, including by providing $7.8 million for the Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) helpline, enhancing digital screening and data collection, and working with states and territories to achieve universal perinatal mental health screening across antenatal and postnatal care settings.
We will also fund:

  • $77.1 million for the National Legal Assistance Partnership to support early resolution of legal problems for those experiencing mental illness, and for mental health workers in Domestic Violence Units (DVU) and Health Justice Partnerships (HJP) to support women who have experienced family violence
    • This will include increased mental health funding for the existing 21 DVUs and HJPs, with additional funding to seven of these for regional and remote outreach activities.
  • $6.3 million to increase mental health support services for fly‑in fly-out and drive-in drive-out workers
  • $5.7 million to build on the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) program to assist people with mental illness to participate in the workforce. This includes trialling the extension of the program to support adults through two Head to Health adult treatments centres and piloting vocational peer support workers with lived experience of mental health whilst seeking employment in at least two headspace IPS sites, and
  • $0.9 million to continue the Ahead for Business digital hub, supporting small business owners to take proactive, preventive and early steps to improve their mental health.

Pillar 2: Suicide Prevention ($298.1 million)
The Government remains deeply committed to work towards zero suicides and is committing $298.1 million to do so. For the first time and in partnership with states and territories, we will fund aftercare for every Australian discharged from hospital following a suicide attempt, at a cost of $158.6 million. Aftercare services provide follow up care in the immediate months after a suicidal crisis or attempt, and support individuals to seek appropriate help when they need it most. We will also trial aftercare services for anyone who has attempted suicide or experienced suicidal distress that may not have presented to a hospital.
The Government will also fund:

  • $12.8 million for a National Suicide Prevention Office to oversee the national whole-of-government approach to suicide prevention
  • $61.6 million to expand the National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Program to increase investment in whole-of-population suicide prevention activities and services
  • $12 million to continue the delivery of local suicide prevention initiatives across Australia through the former National Suicide Prevention Trial sites
  • $22 million to provide, in partnership with the states and territories, national suicide postvention services which help those bereaved or impacted by suicide, including families, friends, workplaces, schools, community groups, frontline responders and witnesses, and
  • $31.2 million to pilot, in partnership with the states and territories, a national Distress Intervention program which will reach people in crisis earlier and provide immediate support.

Pillar 3: Treatment ($1.4 billion)
The Morrison Government will invest $1.4 billion to improve and expand accessible and effective mental health treatment for all Australians who need it, at the right stage of life.
The heart of the Government’s reform is an $820.1 million investment to create a national network of multidisciplinary mental health treatment centres based on three models:

  • Head to Health adult mental health treatment centres: We will improve access to community-based mental health services, including through the initial establishment of eight new centres, 24 new satellite centres, and ongoing funding for eight existing centres. We will also establish a dedicated phone service to support intake, assessment and referral, at a cost of $487.2 million
    • As part of this initiative, the Government will also work in partnership with state and territory governments to continue to expand the network of community-based adult mental health services.
  • Headspace youth treatment centres: We will continue to safeguard the wellbeing of young Australians aged 12–25 by strengthening, enhancing, and expanding the headspace network, at a cost of $278.6 million. This includes:
    • expanding the national headspace network by establishing ten new headspace centres and upgrading five satellite services, bringing the total number of headspace services across Australia to 164, and
    • working jointly with states and territories to boost clinical capacity at existing headspace services.
  • Head to Health Kids: In partnership with state and territory governments, the Government will create up to 15 new Head to Health Kids mental health and wellbeing centres for children aged 0–12 years. These centres will provide multidisciplinary support for infants, children and their parents, and improve early intervention outcomes for children’s mental health, at a cost of $54.2 million.

Operating under a ‘no wrong door approach’, these new services will ensure the delivery of easy to access, high quality, person-centred treatment and supports across the mental health care system in our cities, regions and rural areas, providing stigma-free and compassionate care.
They will also contribute to addressing the ‘missing middle’ service gap (the availability of services for those who are too unwell for the general primary care system but not unwell enough to require inpatient hospital services or intensive state-based community care).
The Government will also provide:

  • $34.2 million to support General Practitioners (GPs) in their role as a key entry point into the mental health system by expanding and implementing the Initial Assessment and Referral (IAR) tool in primary care settings
  • $26.9 million to provide additional support for people with eating disorders and their families, including:
    • $2.5 million to deliver the final phase of the workforce credentialing project to ensure access to high quality care under the Medicare eating disorders items
    • $1.9 million to provide training to staff in the Head to Health adult mental health treatment centres
    • $13 million to establish a National Eating Disorder Research Centre
    • $0.3 million to continue Eating Disorders Families Australia’s strive program, which provides support for families and carers of people with eating disorders, and
    • working in partnership with states and territories to explore opportunities to establish additional eating disorder day programs.
  • $288.5 million to list Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) therapy on the MBS for patients with medication-resistant major depressive disorder
  • $111.4 million to support the take up of group therapy sessions and participation of family and carers in treatment provided under the Better Access initiative
  • $171.3 million over two years to continue psychosocial support for people with severe mental illness who do not qualify for the NDIS. This funding is in addition to that provided under the NDIS
  • $42.3 million to support access to parenting education and support, to build parenting strategies and help parents to identify problem behaviours early, and
  • $0.5 million to develop national guidelines to support states and territories to include social and emotional wellbeing and indicators in early childhood health checks, so any emotional difficulties can be identified early and in a nationally consistent way.

Pillar 4: Supporting the vulnerable ($107 million)
The Government is committing $107 million towards supporting vulnerable groups, including:

  • $79 million to implement key initiatives under a renewed National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy, including:
    • $27.3 million to implement culturally-sensitive, co-designed aftercare services through regionally-based organisations, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations being preferred service providers
    • $23.8 million to support the establishment of regional suicide prevention networks and a lead commissioning officer in each jurisdiction, and
    • $16.6 million to Gayaa Dhuwi and Lifeline to establish and evaluate a culturally-appropriate 24/7 crisis line governed and delivered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • $16.9 million to fund mental health early intervention supports and preventive measures for migrants and multicultural communities, and address the cultural competence of the broader health workforce through the Program of Assistance for Survivors of Torture and Trauma, and Mental Health Australia’s Embrace Framework, and
  • $11.1 million to improve the experience of and outcomes for people with complex mental health needs through a range of targeted initiatives, including:
    • funding for SANE Australia to pilot specialised mental health services and interventions for people with complex mental health needs, and
    • additional training and education for the mental health workforce to better meet the needs of people with cognitive disability and autism.

A number of the new adult and child mental health centres will also be established with expertise focused on providing care for particular vulnerable groups, such as LGBTIQ+ or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health, based on identified areas of need.
Pillar 5: Workforce and governance ($202 million)
The Government is committing $202 million for mental health workforce and governance measures. This will ensure the system has the capacity and capability to provide quality and compassionate care. Key measures include:

  • $58.8 million to grow the mental health workforce by providing:
  • $15.9 million to support GPs and other medical practitioners to provide primary mental health care. This includes the provision of additional training in psychological therapies, reviewing and improving mental health training for medical practitioners, developing a nationally recognised Diploma of Psychiatry for medical practitioners, reviewing mental health prescribing practices and developing guidelines for the safe use of antidepressants in youth and children, and continuing to deliver the Equally Well Program promoting improvements to the physical health of those living with a mental illness
  • $7.3 million towards additional staff resources for the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) to support the Australian Government’s mental health and suicide prevention reform agenda
  • $2.6 million to provide tailored mental health supports to health practitioners and reduce stigma associated with health practitioners seeking support for their own mental health
  • $0.3 million to engage with mental health stakeholders to investigate and co-design future national peak body arrangements to provide consumers and carers with a greater say in the future of the mental health system, and
  • $117.2 million to establish a comprehensive evidence base to support real time monitoring and data collection for our mental health and suicide prevention systems, enabling services to be delivered to those who need them, and improving mental health outcomes for Australians.

Funding from a number of these measures will be used to grow the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health workforce, building the capacity of culturally safe treatment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The reforms included in this historic Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan will continue to guarantee Australians with essential services, and are the first major step in what will be an ongoing effort to create a world-leading mental health and suicide prevention system.
Many of these reforms will require a phased approach and ongoing cooperation with states and territories and with stakeholders, but by working together we can build the mental health and suicide prevention system that Australians deserve.

$17.7 billion to deliver once in a generation change to aged care in Australia

In response to the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, the Morrison Government will deliver a $17.7 billion package of support and a once in a generation reform to aged care to deliver respect, care and dignity to our senior Australians.
Senior Australians built our nation. They are our parents and grandparents, our founders and protectors, and they have contributed so much to our Australian communities.
It is our duty and responsibility to give every Australian the care they need in their later years.
This investment of an additional $17.7 billion will deliver generational change with improved quality care, increased viability in the sector with services respecting the needs and choices of senior Australians. It is also the largest investment in aged care.
We welcome the final report of the Royal Commission and have founded our response on the principles of respect, care and dignity.
The Morrison Government is, therefore, responding to the Royal Commission with its five year – five pillar aged care reform plan addressing:

  • Home care – at home support and care based on assessed needs
  • Residential aged care services and sustainability – improving service suitability that ensures individual care needs and preferences are met
  • Residential aged care quality and safety – improving access to and quality of residential care
  • Workforce – growing a bigger, more highly skilled, caring and values based workforce; and
  • Governance – new legislation and stronger governance

The Government thanks Commissioners, the Hon Tony Pagone QC, Lynelle Briggs AO and the late Hon Richard Tracey AM RFD QC, for their efforts delivering one of the most important documents in the history of aged care in Australia.
In responding to the 148 recommendations, of which 123 were joint, and 25 were specific to the individual Commissioners requiring a decision by Government, the Morrison Government has accepted or accepted in principle 126 recommendations. In addition, the Government supports instead an alternative on four of the recommendations. Twelve recommendations were subject to further consideration or noted in the government response. Six were not accepted, including four which note the discordant views of the Commissioners.
The key elements of the Morrison Government’s response include:

  • Pillar 1 of the Royal Commission Response – Home Care: $7.5 billion towards supporting senior Australians who choose to remain in their home, including:
    • $6.5 billion for an additional 80,000 Home Care Packages – 40,000 released in 2021–22 and 40,000 in 2022–23, which will make a total of 275,598 packages available to senior Australians by June 2023
    • $10.8 million to design and plan a new support in home care program which better meets the needs of senior Australians
    • $798.3 million to support the 1.6 million informal carers, including additional respite services for 8,400 senior Australians each year, and
    • $272.5 million for enhanced support and face-to-face services to assist senior Australians accessing and navigating the aged care system.
  • Pillar 2 of the Royal Commission Response – Residential aged care services and sustainability: $7.8 billion towards improving and simplifying residential aged care services and to ensure senior Australians can access value for money services, including:
    • $3.9 billion to increase the amount of front line care (care minutes) delivered to residents of aged care and respite services, mandated at 200 minutes per day, including 40 minutes with a registered nurse
    • $3.2 billion to support aged care providers to deliver better care and services, including food through a new Government-funded Basic Daily Fee Supplement of $10 per resident per day
    • $102.1 million to assign residential aged care places directly to senior Australians, and to support providers to adjust to a more competitive market
    • $49.1 million to expand the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority to help ensure that aged care costs are directly related to the care provided
    • $189.3 million for a new Australian National Aged Care Classification to deliver a fairer and more sustainable funding arrangements, and
    • $5.5 million to reform residential aged care design and planning to better meet the needs of senior Australians, particularly those living with dementia.
  • Pillar 3 of the Royal Commission Response – Residential aged care quality and safety: $942 million to drive systemic improvements to residential aged care quality and safety, including:
    • $365.7 million to improve access to primary care for senior Australians, including the transition of senior Australians between aged care and health care setting and improved medication management
    • $262.5 million to ensure the independent regulator, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC), is well equipped to safeguard the quality, safety and integrity of aged care services and can effectively address failures in care
    • $7.3 million for additional resources to build capacity within residential aged care for the care of senior Australians living with dementia
    • $67.5 million for the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service and the Severe Behaviour Response Teams to further reduce reliance on physical and chemical restraint (restrictive practices), and
    • $200.1 million to introduce a new star rating system to highlight the quality of aged care services, better informing senior Australians, their families and carers, including
      • $94.0 million to expand independent advocacy to support greater choice and quality safeguards for senior Australians.
  • Pillar 4 of the Royal Commission Response – Workforce: $652.1 million to grow a skilled, professional and compassionate aged care workforce, which will be the powerhouse of the Government’s reform agenda, including:
    • upskilling the existing workforce and providing training for thousands of new aged care workers, including 33,800 subsidised Vocational Education and Training places through JobTrainer.
    • $228.2 million to create a single assessment workforce to undertake all assessments that will improve and simplify the assessment experience for senior Australians as they enter or progress within the aged care system
    • $135.6 million to provide eligible Registered Nurses with financial support of $3,700 for full time workers, and $2,700 for part time workers, nursing scholarships and places in the Aged Care Transition to Practice Program; and
    • $9.8 million to extend the national recruitment campaign, to help increase the skilled and dedicated aged care workforce.
  • Pillar 5 of the Royal Commission Response – Governance: $698.3 million to improve the governance across the aged care system. This will embed respect, care and dignity at the heart of the system, guaranteeing better choice, high quality and safe care for senior Australians, including:
    • $21.1 million to establish new governance and advisory structures, including a National Aged Care Advisory Council, and a Council of Elders, and to work towards establishment of an office of the Inspector-General of Aged Care
    • $630.2 million to improve access to quality aged care services for consumers in regional, rural and remote areas including those with First Nations backgrounds and special needs groups
    • $13.4 million to improve rural and regional stewardship of aged care, with Department of Health aged care officers embedded within eight of the 31 Primary Health Network regions, and
    • The drafting of a new Aged Care Act to enshrine the Government’s reforms in legislation by mid-2023.

The initiatives outlined within the Morrison Government’s five pillars response will be introduced through a five year plan in response to the Royal Commission.
Phase One (2021) will see the Morrison Government focus on setting the foundations for generational change, commencing with key structural and governance change across the aged care system, building the workforce, and addressing immediate priorities across each of the five pillars:
2021

  • Home care
  • Residential aged care services and sustainability
    • Supplement ($10 Basic Daily Fee) and continue Viability Supplements
    • Independent Pricing Authority
    • Begin phasing in enhanced financial and prudential oversight
  • Residential aged care quality and safety
    • Improve Quality Standards for dementia, diversity, food, nutrition
    • Enhanced regulatory and monitoring powers of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to improve clinical standards
    • Additional GP services and access available for aged care residents
  • Workforce
    • Additional training places provided for new and existing aged care workers
    • Scholarships to attract nurses and personal care workers
    • Additional advocacy, dementia and palliative care training
  • Governance
    • Council of the Elders
    • Inspector-General of Aged Care
    • Funding uplift for MPS and NATSIFAC residential care

Phase Two (2022–2023), the Morrison Government will be rebuilding institutions across the sector ensuring their resolute focus on the dignity, care and respect for senior Australians.
We will develop and pass new legislation and embed regulation with a focus on high quality support for older people, which is simpler to access and better tailored to the needs of the individual. We will reform funding arrangements and make significant changes to service delivery. We will continue to enhance workforce capability, and improve the culture in aged care.
2022

  • Home care
  • Residential aged care services and sustainability
  • Residential aged care quality and safety
    • Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) expanded to home and community care
    • Reporting of staffing hours
    • Enhanced financial reporting transparency
    • Worker screening (workforce register) and code of conduct introduced
    • Stage one implementation of Star Ratings
  • Workforce
    • Single assessment workforce model implemented in residential care
    • Financial incentive payments for registered nurses
    • Additional training places provided for new and existing workers, including 6,000 new personal care workers and 33,800 additional training places for personal care workers to attain a Certificate III
  • Governance
    • Procurement of Indigenous care finders
    • Transition to AN-ACC funding model
    • Increase in the residential funding base

2023

  • Home care
  • Residential aged care services and sustainability
    • Mandatory care time (200 care minutes)
  • Residential aged care quality and safety
    • National Aged Care Minimum Dataset to improve information metrics about aged care
    • Expanded National Mandatory Quality Indicator Program (NMQIP)
  • Workforce
    • Single assessment workforce model implemented in home care
    • Additional training places provided for new and existing personal care workers to attain a Certificate III
  • Governance
    • New Aged Care Act commences

Phase Three (2024–2025) will begin to realise the vision of a high-quality and safe aged care system. We will deliver an aged care system that places the needs of senior Australians at its core. Most of all, our care system will treat our senior Australians with dignity, care and respect.
2024

  • Home care
  • Residential aged care services and sustainability
    • Reformed residential aged care accommodation framework implemented
    • Discontinue the Aged Care Approvals Round process from 1 July 2024
  • Residential aged care quality and safety
    • Full implementation of Star Ratings

2025

  • Residential aged care services and sustainability
  • Governance
    • Strong and effective governance of aged care is in place with senior Australians at the center and improved care outcomes consistently delivered.

A new national strategy to prevent child sexual abuse

The Commonwealth Government will provide $146 million over four years for the first phase of a new National Strategy to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse.
The Strategy will be a 10 year, whole-of-nation framework to establish a coordinated and consistent approach to prevent and better respond to child sexual abuse in Australia.
“Every child deserves safety and protection and today’s new measures will prevent, detect and respond to child sexual abuse committed within Australia, online, and by Australians overseas,” the Prime Minister said.
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Ben Morton, said measures being announced today will lay the foundation for the landmark new National Strategy, which will be released in full in September 2021.
“The Commonwealth has a leadership and coordination role in tackling child sexual abuse, and many of these measures address our responsibilities under the Commonwealth Criminal Code,” Assistant Minister Morton said.
“These measures will deliver on commitments made in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
“Any sexual crime against a child is one too many, and this National Strategy aims to deliver ambitious and world-leading measures to prevent all forms of child sexual abuse.”
The National Strategy will complement and align with other national policy frameworks, such as the current and future National Plans to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, and Closing the Gap.
Key initiatives include:

  • $59.9. million worth of initiatives to be delivered by the Australian Federal Police to combat child sexual abuse, including an additional $35.4 million for new frontline operational activities to keep our children safe.
  • $13.9 million to bolster the capabilities of AUSTRAC, the Australian Institute of Criminology, the Australian Border Force, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, and the Department of Home Affairs to equip intelligence, research and border protection agencies to disrupt the cash flow behind child sexual abuse, prevent and disrupt livestreamed child sexual abuse, intercept material and offenders at the border, and enhance our ability to identify offenders within the community.
  • $4.1 million for the Department of Home Affairs to work with Indo-Pacific partners on regional policy and legislative responses to child sexual abuse.
  • $2.95 million to help the Department of Home Affairs build relationships with the digital industry to drive a coordinated and collaborative charge against offenders’ exploitation of online platforms to commit child sexual abuse related crimes.
  • $24.1 million to strengthen Commonwealth capacity to prosecute perpetrators of child sexual abuse.
  • $16.8 million for the Attorney-General’s Department to enhance and expand legal assistance concerning child sexual abuse.
  • $10.9 million for the National Indigenous Australians Agency to co-design place-based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing approaches to support survivors of child sexual abuse.
  • $4.7 million for Sport Integrity Australia to enhance child safeguarding in sport.
  • $3.0 million to the eSafety Commissioner to deliver targeted online education programs to support parents and families to prevent online harms to children.
  • $5 million to expand the National Office for Child Safety’s national leadership role to deliver the National Strategy to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse.

Further announcements will be made with the full National Strategy, including additional measures to be jointly delivered by the Commonwealth and its state and territory partners.
The Australian Government is working with states and territories as well as non-government stakeholders to finalise the National Strategy for release in September 2021. For more information, visit: https://childsafety.pmc.gov.au/.

Australia’s communications, media and arts sectors helping secure our recovery

The Morrison-McCormack Government is securing Australia’s recovery through significant commitments to strengthen our communications, media and creative arts sectors, helping to rebuild our economy, secure jobs and support communities as we continue our resurgence from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Digital service delivery has become more important than ever, with many sectors rapidly digitising over the past year to meet the demands of home-based work. This is why the Government’s Digital Economy Strategy plays a central role in the 2021-22 Budget, as we establish an enduring program to connect Australians and keep them safe online.
This Budget also recognises the challenges the pandemic has created for our arts sector, with significant support being delivered to help Australia’s national cultural institutions and the broader arts sector position for stronger roles in a post-COVID world.
The Government’s investments as part of its plan to secure Australia’s recovery include:

  • $5.2 million for an awareness campaign to better support victims of online abuse and harm;
  • $84.8 million for improved connectivity in the regions through the Regional Connectivity Program;
  • $68.5 million for a dedicated stream of funding for Northern Australia under the Regional Connectivity Program and Mobile Black Spot Program;
  • $16.4 million for better mobile connectivity in bushfire-prone areas on the fringe of our cities;
  • $18.8 million over four years from 2021 22 for a Digital Games Tax Offset
  • $8 million for community broadcasting;
  • $15 million to the AAP Newswire in support of public interest journalism in regional Australia;
  • $7.7 million to help consumers select reliable, high speed broadband services that meet their needs;
  • $4.2 million to implement the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code;
  • $85.4 million for eight national collecting institutions; and
  • $11.9 million over four years to boost quality children’s television content.

Communications and the Digital Economy
Improving Online Safety
Under the Morrison Government’s new Online Safety Act, there will be new and strengthened schemes to help Australians stay safe online. This includes a new adult cyber abuse scheme for Australian adults; an expanded cyberbullying scheme for Australian children and an enhanced image-based abuse scheme which addresses the non-consensual sharing of intimate images.
The Government will invest an additional $5.2 million to alert Australians to the help available to them by informing the community of the new and strengthened schemes to keep them safe online.
Australia is at the forefront of online safety policy and regulation. The Online Safety Act will bolster Australia’s world-leading online safety framework by creating new and strengthened schemes to keep Australians safe when things go wrong online.
Improving Regional Connectivity
The Government will build on the success of the Regional Connectivity Program by committing a further $84.8 million to the Program, opening up new opportunities for regional businesses, communities and regional services such as health and education.
The Program complements the NBN and the Government’s highly successful Mobile Black Spot Program by targeting the delivery of new and improved access to broadband and mobile connectivity in areas of high economic and social value outside of the NBN fixed-line footprint.
The first round of the program is providing $90.3 million (GST inc) in funding towards 81 telecommunications infrastructure projects. Successful applicants included local councils, major telecommunications companies, regional businesses, community groups, educational facilities and fixed wireless providers.
Projects funded under the program will provide communities in regional Australia with access to improved broadband services and data, delivering fast, affordable and reliable connectivity.
The Government will also enhance digital connectivity in Northern Australia by providing $68.5 million of dedicated funding for digital technology solutions in Northern Australia through the Regional Connectivity Program and Mobile Black Spot Program.
Connecting and protecting communities on the urban fringe
The Government will invest $16.4 million to establish the Peri-Urban Mobile Program to improve mobile connectivity in bushfire prone areas on the peri-urban fringe of our major cities.
The peri-urban fringe is where the bush meets the suburbs, presenting a major bushfire risk to those who live and work in those areas.
By improving mobile coverage in these areas, communities will be able to receive vital information during emergencies, seek help if needed and stay in touch with loved ones.
On a day-to-day basis, the program will improve connectivity for these communities, contributing to the local economy through lifting productivity, capability and investment.
The Peri-Urban Mobile Program will provide grant funding to Mobile Network Operators and infrastructure providers to deploy new mobile phone infrastructure to upgrade mobile reception and coverage issues in these areas.
Digital Games Tax Offset
As part of the Digital Economy Strategy, the Government is providing $18.8 million over four years from 2021 22 for a new Digital Games Tax Offset. This will provide a 30 per cent refundable tax offset for qualifying Australian digital games expenditure ongoing from 1 July 2022, with the criteria and definition of qualifying expenditure to be determined through industry consultation.
This measure will drive investment and growth in the sector, as well as help attract and build the creative digital skills needed in the economy, helping Australia to take a greater share of the approximately $250 billion global video games development market.
Community Broadcasting
The Government will provide an additional $8 million over two years to the Community Broadcasting Foundation as part of the Community Broadcasting Program
The community radio sector has made a valuable contribution to Australians throughout the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic. This additional support will help to boost development and operational funding, support sustainability and capability for the sector, and allow it to manage the ongoing economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Australia’s 450 community radio broadcasters will benefit from this measure.
Continued support for public interest journalism in regional Australia
The Government will provide additional funding of $15 million over two years to the Australian Associated Press Newswire (AAP), starting in the 2020-21 financial year. The funding will support AAP’s continued provision of newswire services, consisting of regional, national and international news, to regional media outlets across Australia. This allows regional media businesses to concentrate on covering local news stories that are important to their communities.
The funding is consistent with the objectives of the Public Interest News Gathering (PING) Program to support regional journalism and builds on the Government’s existing support to the newswire service. The measure will bring the total support to AAP to $20 million. AAP’s existing PING agreement will be updated to reflect the increase in funding and new grant activities. The first payment of $7.5 million will be paid before 30 June 2021.
Helping Australians access the right broadband services
The Government will support the continued delivery of the Measuring Broadband Australia (MBA) program by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for an additional four years at a cost of $7.7 million that will be recovered in full via the Annual Carrier Licence Charge.
The program will continue to help consumers select reliable, high speed fixed-line broadband services that meet their needs, and will extend these benefits to additional regional and emerging market segments by including fixed wireless broadband services.
The importance of the program’s renewal is accentuated by the launch of new higher speed NBN products and increased reliance on broadband due to COVID-19.
News Media Bargaining Code
The Australian Government has introduced the world-leading News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code to address the bargaining power imbalance between Australian news media businesses and digital platforms, and to support a diverse and sustainable news media sector in Australia.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has several important functions under the Code, including registering news businesses, and maintaining a register of arbitrators.
Additional funding of $4.2 million over three years from 2020-21will be provided to ACMA in this Budget to enable the regulator to discharge its responsibilities.
Creative and Cultural Sector
As part of our plan to secure Australia’s recovery, the Government has invested almost $300 million to support the successful reopening of Australia’s creative and cultural sector. These measures include:
$125.6 million for further Restart Investment and Sustain Expand (RISE) grants will provide competitive seed funding for new productions, festivals and events to support the successful re-opening of Australia’s creative and cultural sector.
$50.8 million to extend the Temporary Interruption Fund used by the screen industry until 31 December 2021. The fund is helping to support local film and television producers secure finance and start filming again.
$20 million in grants providing support to our independent cinemas through the Supporting Cinemas’ Retention Endurance and Enhancement initiative (SCREEN)
$75 million to reinstate the Producer Offset Rate for film set to 40 per cent as an ongoing measure for Australian film of creative and cultural significance.
$20 million to various arts organisations including $10 million for the music charity Support Act, and $5 million to support national performing arts touring.
$11.4 million to support the recovery of regional arts events in 2021-22.
More support for our National Cultural Institutions
The Government will provide additional funding of $85.4 million to our National Collecting Institutions to improve their financial sustainability and enable them to undertake a variety of capital works so that we can continue to preserve and enjoy Australia’s cultural heritage.
Additional funding of $32.4 million over two years will be provided to eight National Collecting Institutions to improve their financial sustainability and enable them to deliver public services and programs. The Australian National Maritime Museum, Bundanon Trust, Museum of Australian Democracy, National Film and Sound Archive, National Gallery of Australia, National Library of Australia, National Museum of Australia and National Portrait Gallery of Australia will be the beneficiaries of this funding.
The Government will also provide additional funding of $47.5 million to our national cultural institutions for a variety of capital works so that we can continue to preserve and enjoy Australia’s cultural heritage.
This includes funding of $28.6 million to the National Gallery of Australia to replace end-of-life capital assets to improve the safety of staff and visitors and support the ongoing care of the Gallery’s collection valued at $6.2 billion.
Funding of $9 million over two years will also be provided to the Australian National Maritime Museum, Bundanon Trust and the National Library of Australia to deliver safety related capital works. This will include safety improvements to public thoroughfares and replacement of fire safety systems at the Australian National Maritime Museum, restoration of the Bundanon Homestead, maintenance of the Boyd Education Centre, and support for the replacement of the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning system at the National Library of Australia.
Funding of $5.5 million over four years will also be provided to establish and sustain an additional exhibition in the Museum of Australian Democracy.
Children’s Television
Further funding of $11.9 million over four years from 2021-22 and $3.0 million ongoing, will be provided to the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF) to support the development and distribution of quality Australian children’s content. This is in addition to the funding of $20.2 million over two years provided in the 2020-21 Budget.
ACTF has played a pivotal role in the success of iconic Australian programs, such as Round the Twist and Dance Academy, and more recent productions including Bluey, Hardball and Little J and Big Cuz.
This funding will enable ACTF to support producers of children’s content to transition as the Government modernises the regulatory and funding framework that underpins Australian content. It will also assist ACTF to continue their role in helping producers capitalise on interest from streaming services to commission and acquire quality Australian children’s content.
Through these significant investments in the 2021-22 Budget, the Government is securing Australia’s recovery by supporting job creation and an economic revival across sectors hit hard by the pandemic.