LGBTQI advocacy organisations have said that the 2022-23 Federal Budget by the Scott Morrison government has once again failed to fund the services and programs for the community. 

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According to LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA)  while the budget includes “broad investments in key health disparities such as mental health and suicide prevention, domestic, family and sexual violence prevention, and ageing and aged care”, it fails to address the health priorities of the LGBTQI community. 

Investments To Address Health Disparities Faced By LGBTQI Community Needed

“LGBTIQ+ community-controlled organisations are unable to meet the demand for their services and we need urgent investment to address the health disparities LGBTIQ+ people and communities continue to live with,” Nicky Bath, CEO of LGBTIQ+ Health Australia said, in a statement. 

LHA said that while it welcomes the investments in the budget for improving the health and well being of all Australians, there was need for specific funding to address the priorities of the LGBTQI community. 

The National Preventive Health Strategy 2021-2030 has identified LGBTQI persons as a priority population. The government has also announced $104.4 million investment for Our Watch, to expand the reach of national domestic, family and sexual violence prevention programs to vulnerable groups, including LGBTQI persons. 

“Investment into generalist services does not necessarily translate into a direct health benefit for LGBTIQ+ people and there needs to be an urgent reassessment of funding processes when engaging generalist organisations to provide services and programs to LGBTIQ+ communities,” said Bath. 

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“LGBTIQ+ community-controlled organisations across Australia undertake incredible work to support our communities. These organisations urgently need funding to build their stability, sustainability, and capacity to meet the needs of LGBTIQ+ communities. Without this investment, the health disparities we see in available data will only continue,” added Bath.

Funding For HIV Strategy

The Federal government  announced that it would continue its funding to implement the national HIV Strategy. The budget has earmarked an additional 8.6 million to combat blood-borne viruses and sexually transmitted infections. 

“Our progress against HIV is impressive, but delicate,” said Darryl O’Donnell, CEO, Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) said in a statement. “The investments announced tonight are important in allowing us to continue our work to end HIV transmission. 

“However with greater resources we can achieve much more. Australia is one of the few countries in the world that can hope to end HIV transmission in coming years. Doing so will require new resolve, policy reform and investment.”

Last year, AFAO in its Agenda 2025 report had said that an annual investment of around $53 million could avert 6.000 HIV infections by 2030 and end the HIV epidemic in Australia. 


 

 

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