Out of the $3.4 billion package of new measures taking place from the Federal Budget, The Australian Government committed $1.9 billion to support women’s security.
The main three areas released were reforms on:
- Women’s safety
- Women’s economic security
- Women’s health and wellbeing
The Women’s Budget Statement said: “When women are safe, economically secure and healthy, it provides benefits for individuals, families, business, and the economy. Improving outcomes in these areas will not only enhance the lives and livelihoods of Australian women; it will grow our economy and build a better society for all Australians.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison specifically said, “Our values have informed our approach to developing this Women’s Budget Statement of respect, dignity, choice, equality of opportunity and justice – these are fundamental to the safety and economic security of women in Australia.”
Along with an additional $1.1 billion to be spent on women’s safety with new deals to ensure states boost front-line services for domestic, family and sexual violence areas. Financial assistance has also been approved with $164.8 million in funding for women affected by family violence and $57.6 million for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Women’s health was also on the agenda in the Federal Budget, with $351.6 million spent on new research, treatment and medicines for women’s health initiatives surrounding maternal, sexual and reproductive health.
Super assets and divorce
The current system in divorce has a lack of responsibility of parties to be fully transparent of their superannuation assets. Previously it’s been a costly and challenging process for many women to fully disclose their husbands’ super assets while going through a divorce.
The new announcements will shortly introduce enabling legislation to improve the transparency of super assets for those going through a divorce. This will secure a far better outcome for women to ensure their fair entitlement to superannuation splits.
In a recent article by Choice, Sandra Buckley, CEO of Women in Super, said, “It is an issue fraught with complexity, particularly where one partner is experiencing domestic violence or financial abuse.”
For many Australians, super is the most significant asset they own after their home. Dividing up these savings can be a costly and emotionally draining process. This new legislation will hopefully ease some of the pressures for women to rightfully gain access to their entitled superannuation and avoid the personal and mental trauma associated with lengthy and contested divorce proceedings.
Also, for many women, superannuation is often the only part of the property pool they might have access to. This new legislation means less burden on family violence survivors and less court time wasted to enforce disclosure documents.
Our team are committed to providing our clients with high-quality support and assistance with superannuation. We work with our clients to always ensure their Superannuation Funds act accordingly with the latest legislation. Whether you need help consolidating your super, setting it up from scratch, audit advice or special assistance around tax planning and retirement, we have the experience to assist your needs. Contact us to book an appointment.