Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Health Minister Jill Hennessy have announced that if their Labor Party government is re-elected, Victorian public school students will be provided with free pads and tampons.
A spokesperson for Hennessy said that “Labor will provide free sanitary items in all female, unisex and accessible bathrooms at all government schools from term three, 2019.”
The initiative means Victoria could be the first Australian state or territory to provide free sanitary products to students, in the hopes of making the lives of the state’s young guns just a little easier.
We’re announcing this. It’s an Australian first. It’s the right thing to do. pic.twitter.com/yVoxgBVMZs
— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) November 14, 2018
The Department of Education and Training will liaise with schools to figure out how to best provide those products, the spokesperson said.
“We want to break down the stigma of menstruation,” Hennessy said, adding “This is about giving female students the dignity they deserve, and helping families with the cost of living along the way.”
The announcement follows last month’s nation-wide repeal of the ‘tampon tax’, the GST levy which had long treated sanitary products like pads and tampons as a luxury item.
That roll-back is expected to be fully enacted in January next year.
The Victorian state election goes down on November 24.