Women who have lost their jobs during the COVID pandemic have been abandoned in Labor’s big spending, big borrowing State Budget.

At Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) today, Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams was asked if the Government had considered the impact of its budget measures on the record 146,500 women who are currently unemployed.

Despite confirming that women have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, the Minister couldn’t say how many women Labor’s budget measures would actually support to get back into the workforce.

Shadow Minister for Women Emma Kealy said the Minister’s evasive response confirmed the work just hasn’t been done.

“Women dominated businesses, including beauty services, fitness and creative industries, were decimated by lengthy lockdowns that stopped businesses from opening their doors, keeping women out of work for longer,” Ms Kealy said.

“Now, a record number of 146,500 women are currently unemployed in Victoria, but instead of the Government developing a budget that supports the small businesses and jobs that employ women most often, Labor has again favoured male-dominated sectors. 

“For instance, the construction industry, where 89 per cent of the workforce are male, is set to receive almost $69 billion dollars in the State Budget.

“Today the Minister struggled to outline any significant measures in the budget that would support women dominated small businesses and help women to get back into the job they want, love, are trained to do well and can work in today.

The Minister claimed the Government’s dedicated training program for women in the transport and construction industries would solve the problem but quickly handballed questions when pressed on the fact it will support 395 training opportunities.

“Just one program that supports less than 400 women will not support the majority of the 146,500 women who are unemployed today,” Ms Kealy said.

“Despite a publishing a separate Gender Equality Budget Statement, when it comes to real action Labor have again failed to deliver for women when women need it most.”