Australian women will no longer have to pay GST on tampons and sanitary pads, after the states and territories finally agreed to abolish the tax on feminine hygiene products.

After an 18-year public campaign which began when the GST was introduced, the 10 per cent tax on women’s products will be ditched from January 1.

The tax impost on sanitary items – which also extends to menstrual cups, maternity pads and leak-proof underwear – has long been described as unfair because men’s products like condoms and Viagra are exempt.

Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer says efforts to remove the tampon tax have endured a “tortured history” and she is glad it is finally gone.

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen says the GST should never have been put on sanitary products in the first place.

“We welcome the fact that this discriminatory tax has been lifted.”

The move will cost states and territories $30 million, but Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says they are already making up for it through unexpectedly high GST revenues in other areas.


State and territory treasurers backed the change during a meeting in Melbourne on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the unanimous agreement as “a bit of common sense”.

“It had always been our view that we wanted to see it changed,” he said.