Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Cost Crisis Hits Valley Rising Costs Take Toll in Valley; Families Feeling the Pressure as Prices Climb

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Cost Crisis Hits Valley Rising Costs Take Toll in Valley; Families Feeling the Pressure as Prices Climb

Article excerpt

Byline: Sherele Moody APN Newsdesk

MORE than 20,000 Clarence Valley families are on the brink of financial crisis as rising rents and utility bills hit hard.

A special APN investigation found at least 40% - or 20,443 - of householders were unable to raise $2000 cash in a week.

And 8729 of the region's 51,043 residents had cash-flow problems in the past 12 months.

University of Adelaide figures reveal that 17,706 people in the Clarence Valley had to rely on gov-ernment payments to survive during the past two years.

St Vincent de Paul Society National Council chief John Falzon said some residents were taking drastic measures to cut costs.

"We've recently seen huge increases in the costs of gas so many of the homes our members visit have people huddled together freezing in the dead of winter, unable to afford heating and we find people going to bed early so as to conserve electricity," Dr Falzon said.

"People are even reducing the number of times they'll use the stove top because they're worried about the cost. …

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