Health advocates say LGBTIQ+ communities left behind in Budget

Warning: This article contains mentions of domestic violence and suicide.

Australia’s peak body for LGBTIQ+ health has welcomed many measures in the just-released 2022-23 Budget, but warns LGBTIQ+ communities are being left behind.

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA) is calling for specific funding measures that will directly address LGBTIQ+ needs and priorities.

While the Budget provides for investments in mental health and suicide prevention, aged care and domestic, family and sexual violence prevention, is it mostly unclear how LGBTIQ+ communities will specifically benefit.

“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,” says Nicky Bath, CEO of LGBTIQ+ Health Australia.

“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.”

The Budget has committed to funding for the National Preventative Health Strategy 2021 – 2030, where LGBTIQ+ communities are listed as a priority population, and a 6-month extension of emergency COVID-19 funding will be committed to QLife – Australia’s premier mental health crisis service for LGBTIQ+ folks.

$104.4 million will also be invested to expand the reach of Our Watch, a national domestic, family and sexual violence prevention organisation, with a provision to improve their reach in diverse communities.

Despite being identified as a priority population in a range of existing national strategies, LGBTIQ+ health remains without direct funding to LGBTIQ+ community-controlled organisations. Of the recommendations made in LHA’s pre-budget submission, none were funded in the 2022-23 Budget.

LGBTIQ+ people are more likely than the general population to experience poor health outcomes, and these are linked to experiences of discrimination, stigma, and exclusion. Current research shows that LGBTQA+ young people aged 16 to 17 were almost five times more likely to have attempted suicide in their lifetime.

LHA is calling on all parties and independent candidates in the upcoming federal election to commit to its election priorities, which support the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ people.

These priorities include ensuring safe and appropriate aged care services, inclusion of LGBTIQ+ lives in the Census, investment in LGBTIQ+ community-controlled health organisations and protection of human rights for intersex people.

“LGBTIQ+ community-controlled organisations across Australia undertake incredible work to support our communities,” Bath continued.

“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.”

OIP Staff


Do you need some support?

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, support and counselling are available from:

QLife: 1800 184 527 / qlife.org.au (Webchat 3pm – midnight)
QLife are a counselling and referral service for LGBTQIA+ people.

DISCHARGED[email protected]discharged.org.au
Discharged is a trans-led support service with peer support groups for trans and gender diverse folks.

Lifeline: 13 11 14 / lifeline.org.au

Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 / www.beyondblue.org.au


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