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November 8th, 2023

Comparative care allowance rates per jurisdiction in Australia

Victoria’s base carer allowance for level 1 (age group 0-7) is the lowest of any state/territory in the country by a significant margin. (See Table 1)

Victoria’s first age payment range is widest of any jurisdiction (0-7). This means that Victorian carers have to wait until a child turns 8 before they get an age-related payment increase.

A Victorian carer gets substantially less per fortnight to care for a 7-year-old child compared to carers in other states. The amount a Victorian carer is behind other states and territories, to support the care of children of 7 years of age:

  • ACT—$261

  • NSW—$201

  • Queensland—$224

  • Western Australia—$112

  • South Australia—$94

  • Tasmania—$81

Table 1: fortnightly base rates of each state/territory for first age range

State/territory

Amount

Age range

ACT

$620

0-4

NSW

$564

0-4

Queensland

$611

0-5

South Australia

$487.20

0-4

Tasmania

$451

0-4

Western Australia

$455 (incl. clothing allowance)

0-6

Victoria

$435

0-7

The amount the Victorian carer allowance falls behind other states continues as age-based increments occur.

Table 2: fortnightly base rate of each state for second age range

State/territory

Amount

Age range

ACT

$696

5-14

NSW

$636

5-13

Queensland

$659

6-10

Western Australia

$547 (incl. clothing allowance)

7-12

South Australia

$529.20

5-12

Tasmania

$516

5-11

Victoria

$450

8-10

  • All payment amounts for all states in the tables above are fortnightly.

  • Most states index payments for inflation/cost of living on 1 July of each financial year except for Queensland which indexes payments on 1 January each year.

  • Three states (NSW, Queensland, Tasmania) have a three-tiered payment structure based on the needs of the child or complexity of the placement.

  • NSW offers the simplest and most comprehensible payment structure with 3 levels of payments according to complexity and payments for ages which are roughly aligned to educational stages (eg 0-4 pre-school, 5-13 primary school, 14-15 (middle school) and 16-17 (senior high school).

  • Some states have payments for remoteness which are not included in fortnightly payment calculations. Fortnightly payments may include clothing and other allowances depending on the state and the payment structure.

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