Women's statement launched in NSW budget

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Casting his budget as a blueprint for women to level the playing field, NSW Treasurer Matt Kean has referenced the courage of Brittany Higgins and Grace Tame in standing up for their gender.

It's the first NSW budget to include a Women's Opportunity Statement, which will now be included in future budgets.

"Its timing is apt, if decades overdue," Mr Kean said in the budget papers released on Tuesday.

"Last year, we saw an outpouring of frustration from women across the country, following the courageous advocacy of Brittany Higgins and Grace Tame."

The treasurer said he had heard stories of women calling their friends as they felt frightened walking home at night, and of women having their ideas ignored at work, before being stolen and repackaged by male colleagues.

"When women told these stories in our newspapers, dining rooms and cafes, I saw other women listening intently and nodding in agreement," he said.

Those stories were backed up by statistics, which revealed one in four women had been sexually harassed at work in the past five years.

Women's participation in the workforce was nine per cent lower than men's and women retired with about half the superannuation of their male colleagues.

The Women's Opportunity Statement outlines priority areas for reform including increasing women's workplace participation, improving women's experience at work, supporting women in small business, prioritising women's health and respect for women.

Some $4.6 billion has been committed to increasing women's workforce participation, including $1.7 billion for child care.

The budget papers reveal an ambitious plan to spend $16.5 billion over the next 10 years to break the barriers to opportunity for women and investing in affordable and accessible child care and creating a universal year of pre-kindergarten in the year before school.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said he wants NSW to be the best place in the country for women to live, work and raise a family.

"To achieve that, we have developed the most comprehensive package of initiatives to support women in the state's history," he said.

Women Minister Bronnie Taylor said the opportunity statement was the first step to ensuring women were empowered with economic and workplace choices.

"Women have spoken and the government listened," Ms Taylor said.

The mix of funding packages would create a more even gender mix across industries and increase workplace flexibility, she added.

Business Sydney said the government's commitment to childcare funding would lead to better workforce participation for women.

"Every sector of the economy is struggling to secure staff and the premier estimates that the extra childcare funding and assistance packages to help women into work will bring an extra 95,000 women into the workforce over ten years," executive director Paul Nicolau said.

"This will be invaluable in filling the many job vacancies and boost the economy."

Major investments for women over the next four years:

* $4.6 billion to increase women's workforce participation

* $69.4 million to improve women's experience at work

* $30.6 million to support women at work and grow entrepreneurship

* $150.5 million to improve women's health

* $108.9 million for respect for women and women's financial support.

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