We are looking for two representatives from Member organisations to attend the launch of the Women's Budget Statement on Tuesday 15 May 2012. The event runs from 10.30am until 11.30am and will be held at the Jessie Street Library in Ultimo, Sydney. The invitation can be downloaded below.
The Office for Women has offered to cover same day travel costs (no accommodation) for two ERA representatives. We need to RSVP by 11 May.
The event is a good opportunity to make contact with other organisations and to hear what the government has to say about the impact of its budget on women. If you participated in ERA's budget workshops over the last 10 months, this is an excellent chance to see another aspect of the budget process in progress.
If you would like to attend, please let Helen, Emma or Katie know on (02) 6230 5152 or email on email@example.com.
Equality Rights Alliance, Australia’s largest network of organisations advocating for women’s equality, is pleased to see an increase in the tax free threshold and superannuation reforms that will benefit low income workers, and increased Age Pensions. But the Alliance is disappointed in the lack of investment in an affordable rental housing, and concerned that women who are not in the paid workforce will be left behind in changes intended to protect Australians' standard of living.
“The current global economic uncertainty means too many Australians are worried about how they can keep a roof over their head. We already have 44,000 women couch surfing every night because they don’t have safe, secure, sustainable, affordable housing. The Federal Government have missed an opportunity to support those struggling on low incomes, while also encouraging housing developers to shift focus into the affordable end of the market,” says Helen Dalley-Fisher, Program Manager at Equality Rights Alliance.
"The biggest benefits of the tax and superannuation changes will go to those already in paid work, widening the gap between the lowest income households and higher income households," says Emma Davidson, Project Coordinator at Equality Rights Alliance. "Further marginalising women on low incomes, such as pushing more people onto Newstart Allowance from Parenting Payment in 2013 but not increasing the JET childcare and training assistance until 2016, does not deliver a stronger, fairer future. The Schoolkids Bonus is easier to access than the Education Tax Refund, but misses the opportunity to target payments at those who need them most. And funding for Indigenous Law and Justice Programs has been cut, such as $4.5m from the Family Violence Prevention Legal Services Program," says Ms Davidson.
More than sixty three Australian women’s organisations endorsed Equality Rights Alliance’s Pre-Budget Submission (online at www.equalityrightsalliance.org.au), which included recommendations on affordable housing, tax reform and superannuation, and violence against women.
"When so many organisations, with such a diversity of views, collectively ask Government to consider investment in affordable housing, you can bet this is an issue affecting a broad range of people in the community,” says Ms Davidson. “Our recommendations included suggestions that would have raised almost $2b in revenue to fund investment in an Affordable Housing Growth Fund. We also asked for very modest funding of just a few hundred thousand dollars for new programs to prevent violence against women, and we're disappointed that this important work is not funded."
“We are pleased to see government commit to tax changes and superannuation reforms that will better protect the future retirement incomes of women in low paid work. But it’s hard not to be disappointed at their silence on our recommendations for investment in affordable rental housing when the Mineral Resources Rent Tax is expected to deliver $3b in new revenue in 2012-13,” Ms Davidson said.
Equality Rights Alliance (Sydney members/friends) and WEL NSW have come together this year to hold a joint end of year party on Monday 19 December at the WEL NSW's leafy courtyard.
Everyone is welcome so please feel free to bring along a friend as we reflect on the year that was for women and what the year ahead might hold. It should be a great opportunity to catch up and network with other ERA members.
If you are not able to attend please pass on the invitation, or if you aren’t in Sydney, feel free to pass on to your Sydney based associates! We’d love to meet new faces from our ERA members and supporters.
Congratulations to Julie McKay, Executive Director of UN Women Australia (and member of the ERA Steering Group!) who was announced as the Australian Capital Territory’s Marie Claire Young Business Woman of the Year at the Telstra Business Woman of the Year Awards in Canberra in September.
Equality Rights Alliance are working on a new project for 2011-2012. We'll be running training workshops around Australia to help women's organisations develop their skills in Federal Budget submissions, and public campaigns supporting their submission.
These grants are to fund one-off projects aimed at advancing the objectives and priorities of the ACT Women’s Plan 2010-2015 to improve the status and lives of women and girls in the ACT. Total funding in the pool is $100,000. Grants will be given for small capacity building projects up to $5,000 or for special projects up to $25,000.