The Morrison Government is determined to continue building a stronger economy that empowers women to make the choices they want to make, and provides the essential services they rely on. “As a Government, we have the record of the highest level of female participation in the workforce ever and we have the record of bringing the gender pay gap down to its lowest level,” Minister for Women and Jobs and Industrial Relations Kelly O’Dwyer said. Our Plan to Support Australian Women, referenced in the Prime Minister’s Campaign Launch speech, spans women’s economic security, women’s safety, vital women’s health initiatives, gender equality initiatives, as well as increasing women’s participation and leadership in sport. Minister O’Dwyer said that a key part of the Government’s Plan to Support Australian Women is $36 million to deliver new mental health checks for Mums, Dads and Bubs before they leave the maternity ward for home. “Rolling out the new Mums, Dads and Bubs check to every new family will become a standard part of the other health check-ups all new families go through. This Check will be an expected and important part of parental health care, just like vaccinations,” Minister O’Dwyer said. A re-elected Morrison Government will also extend support for Australian women by: Supporting young women and girls with educational investments in STEM, economics, business and enterprise, so they can get the high-paying jobs of tomorrow; Introducing more flexible parental leave pay, allowing new parents to balance work and family responsibilities to best suit their needs and expanding access so more parents will benefit; Helping vulnerable women get back on their financial feet with greater access to No Interest Loans; Providing $8 million over four years to ensure patients suffering lymphoedema are able to access subsidised and specialised compression garments; Extending funding for the Australian Breastfeeding Association by $4 million to $8.2 million to ensure this valuable service can best support mothers; Providing $5 million to support a National Women’s Health Research Translation and Impact Network, with the spotlight on national collaboration, workforce capacity building, leadership development and broad research and translation in women’s health; Investing $328 million in the next National Action Plan to reduce violence against women and children, focused on prevention, frontline services and emergency accommodation; Investing $2 million over four years in the Australian Music Industry Network to deliver a mentorship program aimed at empowering women in the creation, development and promotion of their music; Building on the Government’s support for a Decadal Plan for Women in STEM. We will invest $1.8 million to extend the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) initiative to advance gender equity in higher education and research institutions; Supporting Women Building Australia, a construction industry-led program with a $675,000 grant to increase the participation of young women working in the sector; Investing in women’s sporting participation and leadership, with the construction of female change rooms at sporting grounds and investing in leadership and mentoring for high-achieving female athletes; Building on our record 47.3 per cent women on government boards to meet our 50 per cent target; Investing in netball as Australia’s most popular sport for women, with funding to help Netball Australia to continue to grow the game, and establish the first International Leadership Hub for Netball in Melbourne; and Backing in one of the nation’s most loved and successful women’s sporting teams, The Matildas, by supporting a permanent high-performance base in Melbourne. Our Plan also includes opportunities for women who wish to return to the workforce after taking two or more years out to care for family, whether that be young children or ageing parents. Minister O’Dwyer said the Morrison Government’s commitment of $75 million for new Mid-Career Checkpoints would give up to 40,000 working women options based on their needs, interests and objectives. “We want to help women to build their financial security by helping them to get the job they want. “This initiative will be a key plank of the second Women’s Economic Security Statement because nothing gives someone more confidence, choices, independence and economic security than a job they love and thrive in,” Ms O’Dwyer said. The Morrison Government’s Plan to Support Australian Women builds on the important work we have already undertaken, including our new child care package, which the ABS says has already reduced out of pocket costs for parents by 8.9 per cent; our investment of more than $50 million in a new Women’s Health Strategy, saving breast cancer patients up to $1,500 per scan with $32 million towards life-saving MRI and PET scans covered under Medicare and establishing six residential eating disorder centres to provide national coordination on treatment.