Dads working in the NSW public sector can look forward to spending quality time with their newborns, with up to 14 weeks of paid leave.
The overhaul, starting in October, means there will no longer be a distinction between a ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ carer, with mothers and fathers both entitled to the provision.
“While most parents across Australia are entitled to paid primary parental leave, only 12 per cent of those who take it are men,” Premier Dominic Perrottet said on Sunday.
“Supporting all parents to spend more precious days with their newborn children helps them form bonds that last a lifetime.”
Single parents will be entitled to the full 16 weeks of paid parental leave.
Parents, including those employed outside the public sector, will also be eligible for a “bonus leave” scheme.
The arrangement, the first of its kind in Australia, would see each parent take at least 12 weeks’ leave and exhaust any paid parental leave offered by their employers.
Tackling bushfire hazards
The government heralded the initiative on Sunday as part of its upcoming budget, along with a series of major announcements on bushfire funding.
Rural communities devastated by the Black Summer fires two years ago can expect a significant financial boost in the area of disaster management when the budget is handed down on June 21.
Treasurer and Energy Minister Matt Kean says nearly $600 million will be committed over the next decade to manage national parks including the employment of 200 firefighters.
An extra $93.7 million will go towards a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy to prepare for the impacts of climate change.
“Climate change is happening now. Adaptation helps protect the things we value most from floods, drought and bushfires. It can save lives, livelihoods, homes and ecosystems,” he said.
The government will also commit more than $315 million over the next four years to complete the NSW Bushfire Inquiry, which had 76 recommendations, by fireproofing homes.
Mr Perrottet said the investment will help more than 1.3 million properties on bush fire prone land to prepare for future fire seasons.
Firies can also look forward to better frontline equipment, with over $105 million to be spent on new trucks and refitting old ones.
The inquiry was commissioned by former premier Gladys Berejiklian to examine the causes, preparation and response to the bushfires which tore through millions of acres and destroyed nearly 2500 properties.