Mixed bag for LGBTIQ+ communities in the Federal Budget 2021- 2022

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia welcomes the investments announced last night as part of the Federal Budget 2021-2022 that touch the lives of LGBTIQ+ Australians.

We would like to acknowledge the specific investment into digital health for the next financial year and the extension of the National Suicide Prevention Trial which is taking place across 12 Australian regions that have high rates of suicide and where 2 of these sites are focused on LGBTIQ+ communities.

Nicky Bath, CEO LHA, stated, “It is always encouraging and a great relief when the Federal Government recognises and prioritises the needs of LGBTIQ+ people and communities. We know that the investment in digital health services and QLife will strengthen the service and is greatly needed”.

With cautious optimism we recognise the significant investments in generalist services across mental health and suicide prevention and the continuing need for investment in LGBTIQ+ community-controlled organisations to be able to deliver the mental health support services and suicide prevention initiatives that are in great demand.

Nicky Bath continued, “Until we have a robust and resourced LGBTIQ+ community-controlled health sector, the health disparities that we see consistently in the available data will continue, we need more that system reform. Our organisations are part of the solution to reducing our health disparities because of the work they undertake directly with individuals and communities and the capacity building and training they deliver to generalist services to be better able to safely engage with our communities. We are strong supporters of a ‘no wrong door approach’, the key to that door is investment in our organisations.”

Of great interest to LHA last night was the Federal Government’s response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and LHA looks forward to continuing to work with aged care providers to understand the diversity of the community they are serving, contributing to the development of the new Aged Care Act and ensuring that the National Aged Care Data Strategy to ensure that the Australian Bureau of Statistics Standard for Sex, Gender, Variations of Sex Characteristics and Sexual Orientation Variables, is included so that LGBTI older people can be benefit from better data collection and use of appropriate diversity identifiers.

Nicky Bath said, “We will be attending the National Aged Care Alliance meetings this week and look forward to collectively analysing all of the announcements in the budget to see where LGBTI older people benefit with our sector colleagues.”

Over the coming days, LHA will continue to review the Budget announcements and compare these to the recommendations made to the Federal Budget consultations and LHA’s 2021 Policy Priorities Platform. We will also assess the announcements against the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health, Final advice of Prime Minister's National Suicide Prevention Adviser, House of Representatives Inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence, Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability and the Planned National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) reforms.

Nicky Bath, concluded, “In each of these key inquiries and reports, LGBTIQ+ people are identified as a priority group in need of funding and specific strategies to reduce identified health and wellbeing disparities. While we are thankful for what was announced last night, we can clearly see that we have a long way to go to ensure our health disparities are taken seriously.”

Media Contact:  Nicky Bath, Chief Executive Officer

Mobile: 0432 328 706 Email: [email protected]

 

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ABOUT LGBTIQ+ Health Australia
LGBTIQ+ Health Australia, (formerly the National LGBTI Health Alliance), is the national peak health organisation in Australia for organisations and individuals that provide health-related programs, services and research focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people and other sexuality, gender and bodily diverse (LGBTIQ+) people and communities. Dropping the “+” from our name only occurs within digital formats that do not allow mathematical symbols, such as within our domain name, handles and hashtags.
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LGBTIQ+ Health Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia, their diversity, histories and knowledge and their continuing connections to land and community. We pay our respects to all Australian Indigenous Peoples and their cultures, and to Elders of past, present and future generations.