WOMEN and family services have slammed the federal government's budget, saying the coalition's investment does not go far enough to protect women and ensure gender equality.
This year, the federal government has committed $2.1 billion in funding for women and girls, in comparison to the $3.4 billion investment last financial year.
The government has set aside $1.3 billion for the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032, however measures for affordable housing and crisis accomodation are glaringly absent.
"The budget does nothing to address the lack of safe and secure, affordable housing," Bendigo's Centre for Non Violence (CNV) chief executive Margaret Augerinos said.
"Money to help women leave abusive relationships is helpful, but not if they have nowhere to go."
The recent Everybody's Home campaign outlined Australia's national housing crisis, noting that in Bendigo, almost half of all renters are in financial stress.
Ms Augerinos said this was a disappointing oversight in the federal budget.
"There has been very little investment in long-term housing and short-term crisis allocations, we cannot meet the need and demand," she said.
CNV also said despite the $550.8 million to be put towards programs that prevent family and domestic violence or offer early intervention, the budget does not go far enough to address the core of the issues.
"We need to do more to address the drivers of violence," she said.
"Prevention messages aren't going to deliver safety straight away, but they're equally important.
"There is insufficient focus and funds to work with children and families through perpetrator intervention and related programs."
While the budget does have a focus on funding for women's safety services, including $48.7 million over four years to support victim survivors to navigate the health system and $8.4 million over three years for a new justice system navigation support program, CNV said the government failed to listen to industry leaders on funding allocations.
"We are calling on the government to listen to the experts about where funding is needed, and how much," Ms Augerinos said.
"We know where the demand is and where the money should be spent.
"We need funding to build the evidence base by measuring impacts and change in individuals, communities and systems and showing where the most impactful outcomes."
The treasurer announced on Tuesday night that Trodelvy, a medication used to treat a rare form of breast cancer, would now be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, potentially saving some women thousands of dollars.
There was also a strong investment in endometriosis funding, flagged by the government earlier in the week when prime minister Scott Morrison's wife, Jenny Morrison, revealed her diagnosis with the disease.
The $58 million funding includes $16 million for a specialised clinic in each state and territory, $25 million to cover the cost of MRIs under Medicare and $5 million to develop an Endometriosis Management Plan to support women with the disease.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.