LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA) welcomes the Budget investment in Australia’s health and wellbeing, and has called on the Government to show a clear vision to address the significant disparities in health outcomes in LGBTIQ+ health.
Fulfilling commitments made at the May election, the Budget includes $1.3 million over two years to support the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQA+ people, including consultations to understand barriers to accessing health services. The funding will also provide additional funding to QLife to recruit volunteer peer support workers.
LHA welcomes the 500 new frontline service and community workers to support people experiencing family, domestic and sexual violence, including an election commitment for 15 specific workers for LGBTIQ+ community-controlled organisations who are vital in implementing the 2022-2032 National Plan to Stop Violence Against Women and Children.
LGBTIQ+ Health Australia CEO Nicky Bath (she/her) said the funding is a step forward for health and wellbeing programs that tackle the disparities experienced by LGBTIQ+ communities. “Congratulations to Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Labor on its first budget this term. The funding is a step in the right direction and future budgets need to demonstrate the Government’s vision for tackling the disparities in health and wellbeing outcomes for LGBTIQ+ people,” she said.
“LHA’s 2022 Federal Election Policy Priorities called for a 10-year National LGBTIQ+ Health Action Plan with key accountability measures and targets, and reviews of how programs and investment is being made. The consultation process is just a first step towards a 10-year action plan that LHA as the peak body in LGBTIQ+ health and wellbeing has tirelessly advocated for,” Bath said.
Despite LGBTIQ+ communities being identified as a priority population in a range of existing national strategies, the LGBTIQ+ community-controlled organisations best placed to provide services and programs lack direct funding to deal with disparities in access and outcomes for the communities they serve. “LHA has long called for investment in community-controlled organisations. The specific funding for LHA and our member organisations is a welcome recognition of the value of community-led responses to health and wellbeing challenges and we need to do more,” Bath said.
LHA has called for future budgets to address broader areas of concern for LGBTIQ+ communities identified in the 2022 Election Priorities, including LGBTI-inclusive aged care, public funding for services for people with intersex variations, investing in gender-affirming care for trans and gender diverse people in the public health system, and properly implementing the ABS 2020 Standard for Sex, Gender, Variations of Sex Characteristics and Sexual Orientation Variables across the health system.
“Swift implementation is needed to address the crisis in the mental health of LGBTIQ+ communities, especially trans and gender diverse people, and build the capacity of community-controlled organisations to provide desperately needed services,” Bath said.
LGBTIQ+ Health Australia’s 2022 Federal Election Priorities document can be found here.
Nicky Bath, Chief Executive Officer | Pronouns: She/Her | Mobile: 0432 328 706 | Email: [email protected]
Please include QLife in any coverage on LGBTIQ+ people, so that those who may be distressed know that support is available. Information about QLife and guidelines when reporting on issues that impact on LGBTIQ+ people and communities are included below.
QLife provides free peer support and referrals for issues around sexuality, gender, bodies and relationships.
QLife: 3pm to midnight, everyday | 1800 184 527 | qlife.org.au
LHA reminds media of the Australian Press Council Guidelines which outline the need to balance freedom of the press to inform against the harmful impact that reporting can have on individuals and communities.