Here's exactly what the Federal Budget means for women.

Yesterday in Canberra at Parliament House the mood was high amid the 2024-2025 Federal Budget being handed down on Tuesday night.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has announced the government's third budget, saying the policies are designed to combat inflation while providing respite to those who are struggling. 

Here are some of the biggest features in the Budget that will impact women. 

Cost of living.

In his Budget announcement, the Treasurer said cost of living relief was the biggest focus for the Federal Government. Energy rebates for every household, a cap on the price of prescriptions and further relief for renters led the cost-of-living relief measures.

Watch the moment Treasurer Jim Chalmers hands down his Budget. Post continues below.

Video via The Guardian.

Power bill relief will see every household get a $300 energy rebate from July, while eligible small businesses will get a $325 rebate. Energy companies will apply $75 credits to each quarterly power bill under the rebate scheme.

The cost of medicines will also be frozen, with a cap of $31.60 set for prescriptions included in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Cost caps of $7.70 will also be in place for five years for pensioners and concession holders.


Plus, there's the stage three tax cuts, with all taxpayers to keep more of their pay from July. On average, taxpayers will save $1888 in the upcoming financial year, or $36 a week.


The news isn't great.

Commonwealth Rent Assistance will increase by 10 per cent for more than one million households, with the government spending $1.9 billion over the next five years. On average, those on rent assistance will receive an extra $19 per fortnight, so it isn't significant. 

And with less than a third of renters eligible for the payments and no sign of an imminent increase in supply, housing affordability is unlikely to improve for years. The rent assistance rise though is the first time there has been consecutive increases in the payment in 30 years.


The government has allocated $1.1 billion over four years and $623 million per year from 2028 to extend paid superannuation to be included in Commonwealth paid parental leave.

About 180,000 families will soon be eligible then to receive superannuation on top of their paid parental leave.

Australian organisation Chief Executive Women welcomed this measure aimed at unlocking women's workforce participation to address Australia's economic challenges by removing barriers for women and families.

"Commitments to continue expanding paid parental leave and to increase pay for our vital care workforces, signals the importance of the care economy to all Australians, both now and in the future," said CEW president Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz.


Funding for the childcare sector overall remains largely unchanged.

Another thing parents ought to be across is that the Federal Government is focused on protecting children from harmful online content.

The measures include $6.5 million to create a technology pilot to test "age assurance technologies" that could prevent children from accessing inappropriate and harmful online content.

Women's health.

Long-term the plan includes a $1.4 billion spend over 13 years into menopause, pregnancy loss and infertility.

This includes $49.1 million over four years for longer gynecology consultations. It also means $1.2 million in funding over two years to train health practitioners to help patients through menopause, $12.5 million to provide free period products to Indigenous communities and $56.5 million over four years for better maternity care.

From July next year patients with pelvic pain or endometriosis can access subsidised consultations of 45 minutes-plus with a gynecologist. It's anticipated to drop the cost for about 2400 Australians.

Powerfully, education, support services and a national data collection study on miscarriage rates will be funded. For the first time, the sector will have visibility over miscarriage rates.

Domestic violence victim-survivors and crisis accommodation.

Women looking to escape violent relationships will still be able to access $5000 financial support through an almost $1 billion package.


The Leaving Violence Program will be permanently established, the Federal Government providing $925 million over five years. It aims to provide financial aid and support referrals to women looking to remove themselves from harm.

Those eligible can access $5000 in support, with $1500 paid in cash and $3500 made up of goods and services, to be indexed in coming years. There have been concerns from advocates though about the red tape that victim-survivors have to go through to get the $5000 in support. Research also shows that it costs $18,000 to leave an abusive relationship. 

Universities will be required to strengthen their responses to gender-based violence as the government commits nearly $19 million over four years to developing and introducing a code of conduct. It comes amid the concerning rates of sexual violence towards women at universities across the country.

About $1 billion will then be directed towards crisis and transitional accommodation for women and children escaping domestic violence. The government has said this crisis temporary accommodation will provide trauma-informed healthcare.

Social housing.

The government will allocate $9.3 billion for a new five-year national agreement on social housing and homelessness. 

The government has also flagged it will work with universities to increase the supply of student housing to meet demand. This is specifically when it comes to international students, with plans to make sure they don't overwhelm the rental market, and instead that university student accommodation on campus is built and provided for them.


Federal funding for homelessness services and social housing will double to $400 million per year and will be matched by the state and territories. Critics have said though that this money is an extension of the existing national housing and homelessness agreement.

Student HECS debt.

The Budget will bring some relief for those who have student debt.

The government will cap the Higher Education Loan Program indexation rate. The capped rate will ensure indexation matches either the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or Wage Price Index (WPI) — whichever is lower. This will eliminate about $3 billion of student debt.

A person with an average HECS debt of $26,500 would have about $1200 cut from their outstanding loans this year under the change, pending legislation passing. The credit for someone with $130,000 in student debt would be almost $5900.

Payments for student teachers, nurses and social workers during their compulsory work placements done as part of their studies will also be introduced. They will get an extra $319.50 a week.

In other education-related news, the government has promised 15,000 free-free TAFE and VET places and $55.6 million over four years for the Building Women's Careers Program.

Indigenous issues and closing the gap. 

There was a great focus on how the Federal Government would respond in their Budget following the loss of their Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum campaign last year. 

In the Federal Budget, $151.4 million will be committed to 'closing the gap' between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, $20 million of which will be redirected from funds relating to the unsuccessful 2023 referendum.


It will provide $110 million over four years to address the education divide between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. This includes funding to extend existing programs, develop specific policies, attract and retain First Nations teachers and support Indigenous organisations. 

A further $76.2 million will be earmarked for a voluntary prison-to-employment transition program for First Nations prisoners, to help them find jobs after release and curb re-offending rates.

Youth wellbeing has also been a focus for the government with $12.8 million over four years earmarked for a First Nations youth program aimed at reducing suicide rates.

In its previous Budget, the government had committed $364.6 million to the effort. 

Mental health.

More than $800 million will be spent on mental health support packages, headlined by a free digital support program for 155,000 people per year. Aussies are expected to be able to access the services for mental health help without a referral, under the package which will be up and running by January 2026.

Rural healthcare has received only a modest lifeline in the Budget though. Also important to acknowledge is the Federal Government's decision previously to halve how many psychology sessions receive a rebate from 20 to 10 in a year. 

With AAP.

Feature Image: Getty/Canva.