Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Survey Reveals Lucky Country Not So Lucky for 2.5m People

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Survey Reveals Lucky Country Not So Lucky for 2.5m People

Article excerpt

What the report found

87% of adults and 60% of children reported severe deprivation - and went without five or more essential items in life;

Due to massive financial hardship, 75% of respondents had cut down on basic necessities, 57% had gone without meals and 59% were unable to pay utility bills or had delayed them;

78% in private rental housing experienced extreme housing stress;

Of the 2864 children represented in the survey, 65% of parents were not able to afford out-of-school activities;

62% of parents could not afford internet and 34% could not afford to give children fresh fruit or vegetables daily.

IT IS now estimated a staggering 2.5 million Australians live below the poverty line. This includes more than 600,000 children.

"Our biggest question for the Australian community is 'How can we expect people to continue to live like this?' We are deeply alarmed at the results of this survey," said Salvation Army Major Bruce Harmer.

"This report shows very high levels of deprivation.

"This survey has captured data for 2864 children - 60% were affected by severe deprivations - missing at least five essential items for children. The report clearly shows just how marginalised many Australians who come to The Salvation Army are."

"The Salvation Army is concerned that issues around poverty and deprivation are often reduced to questions of a job or welfare crisis," Major Harmer said.

"The foundations of a virtuous and worthy society are social inclusiveness, adequate support for those who are disadvantaged, personal safety and the ability for all members to engage fully in society.

"Respondents in the ESIS 2015 survey indicated that their situations have not changed significantly.

"They felt isolated and excluded from the mainstream community.

"However, they reflected a desire to have the opportunities and experiences the rest of the community had, such as employment opportunities, adequate housing and the ability to provide for their families. …

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