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Budget to fund free period products at schools

All Queensland state high school students will get free period products such as tampons and sanitary pads from next year.

Jun 07, 2022, updated Jun 07, 2022
Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick. (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)

Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick. (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)

The state government has been trialling vending machines dispensing period packs, containing six tampons and two sanitary pads, in 53 state schools, five Catholic schools and four independent schools.

The machines, provided by charity Sharing the Dignity were set to be installed in another 58 schools in the second half of this year.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the machines will be installed in all 276 state high schools in Queensland as part of this year’s budget.

“Access to free period products can make a real difference to children, especially students whose families are doing it tough, have unstable accommodation or are fleeing domestic and family violence,” she tweeted on Tuesday.

“Access to period products should never be a barrier to learning.”

The government will also continue funding a menstruation education program for all students in Years Five to Eight.

The pre-budget announcement comes a day after Treasurer Cameron Dick revealed taxes on bets taken by gambling companies will be lifted to 20 per cent.

The point of consumption tax on wagering companies will rise from 15 per cent to 20 per cent and be broadened to include free and bonus bets.

The proportion of government wagering tax takings going to regulator Racing Queensland will also be lifted from 35 to 80 per cent.

Dick said the new levy will ensure multinational betting firms financially support Queensland’s racing industry.

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Treasury forecasts Racing Queensland will receive about $80 million in annual funding, which will be used for infrastructure, clubs, breeding schemes and prize money, compared to $32.5 million in 2020/21.

Dick last week foreshadowed a deficit of less than $1.7 billion in 2022/23 due to increased stamp duty, taxes and fossil fuel royalty revenue.

That’s down from the $2.4 billion deficit forecast in the treasurer’s budget update in December.

The treasurer denied that the levy was a “tax on punters”, however, some firms may lower odds in response to the changes.

Dick last week promised a $175 rebate for each household to cope with rising electricity bills, which will cost about $385 million in the budget.

He’s said there will be funding to construct a $72 million regional aeromedical hub at Brisbane Airport along with $334 million in funding for the Royal Flying Doctor Service over the next 10 years.

Indigenous reef monitoring programs and support for Indigenous tourism start-up companies will also be funding in the budget.

The 2022/23 state budget will be handed down on June 21.

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