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Thursday, 19 June 2014
Page: 6804


Mr FRYDENBERG (KooyongParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister) (11:30): The member for Aston is right. That was a very poorly phrased question, full of inaccuracies and mistakes. I am very proud that, in this budget, the Prime Minister has ensured that funding for women's programs has continued strongly.

The hypocrisy of those opposite in talking about support for women's programs or about helping women in the workforce is exposed by the fact that they have unleashed a partisan attack on our Paid Parental Leave scheme. The Paid Parental Leave scheme is fundamental to ensuring that more women stay in the workforce after having children so that we continue to—

Opposition members interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order!

Mr FRYDENBERG: Off the record or on the record, I am an extremely strong supporter of the Paid Parental Leave scheme because I believe it boosts workforce participation. The member for Rankin is showing great ignorance because he probably does not know that the Grattan Institute put out a report on the numbers of women who are in the Australian workforce compared to the number of men. Those numbers are 67 per cent of women, compared with 78 per cent of men. Of those 67 per cent of women in the workforce, how many do you think are working full time? Only 55 per cent. But when you look at the number of men who are working full time, it is 85 per cent. One of the key things we need to do in this budget to support working women is institute a paid parental leave scheme and I am a big supporter of the Prime Minister's scheme.

You ask me, in addition to the Paid Parental Leave scheme—in addition to providing more affordable and accessible child care and funding for women's safety—what else are we doing in this budget for women? I am very happy to tell those opposite. Firstly, the National Women's Alliances program has received funding of almost $4.8 million for six alliances over the three years to 2016, up from just $3.6 million over the previous three years. Funding for the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children remains unchanged in this budget and that funding is $104 million over the forward estimates. This includes money for Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety, the Foundation to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children, 1800 RESPECT, DvaleRT—domestic violence response training delivered nationally by Lifeline—and the personal safety survey and—

Opposition members interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Those on my left have asked their question. They will listen to the answer from the parliamentary secretary.

Mr FRYDENBERG: Other women's leadership and development strategy funding that we have continued to support over 2013-14 includes funding for the National Women's Alliances, the sport leadership grants, the Every Girl program and the like.

There are many examples in this budget of how this government has shown its continued strong support—indeed, its increased support—for women's programs, particularly for women at risk. I am very proud that in this budget we have continued funding these important areas and we will continue to speak out in favour of the Paid Parental Leave scheme. It will be, in addition to childcare improvements—we have a Productivity Commission review into child care—a way of improving the lot of Australia's working women.