It is estimated that 430,000 (12.5 per cent) Queenslanders are living below the poverty line says the annual Anti-Poverty Statement released today by the Queensland Council of Social Service.
Base on the latest the available data (2010) 15 per cent of people living outside the greater Brisbane area experience poverty compared with nine per cent living within the greater Brisbane area*.
“This significant difference between the greater Brisbane statistics and the rest of the state is most likely due to higher unemployment in regional and remote areas, as unemployment is a key factor for people experiencing poverty,” says QCOSS CEO Mark Henley.
Other groups at higher risk of experiencing poverty include: children in jobless families/households, households relying on limited casual or part-time employment, single parent households, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“We know that not addressing poverty has implications for the whole community. It impacts on our health system, correctional system, educations system and crisis support.”
“We also know that if we do address poverty and provide the right assistance and support it can improve the community as a whole,” says Mark.
The QCOSS Anti-Poverty Statement identifies three ways that people experiencing poverty could be supported by the community and government to move out of poverty: flexible employment and skilling programs to support the long-term unemployed; a review of concessions to ensure the system is helping the right people in the right ways; and affordable housing with support to assist people having difficulty obtaining and maintaining their housing.
“It is important to realise that poverty is not just about poor people. It is an issue that affects many aspects of our community and that we need action to eliminate.”
For more than 50 years QCOSS has worked throughout Queensland to eliminate poverty and inequality. QCOSS is an independent non-government organisation representing 600 organisations and individuals throughout Queensland.
*greater Brisbane area – South East Queensland not including the Sunshine or Gold Coasts
QCOSS CEO - Mark Henley 0448 075 087
QCOSS President - Karyn Walsh 0413 619 785
Communication Manager - Karen Murphy 0423 245 252