Communities living in the regional Queensland electorate of Hinkler suffer the highest levels of disadvantage of any electorate in Australia, according to major research undertaken by Catholic Social Services Australia.
The research undertaken in 2020 shows that in the towns and regional areas of Hinkler, the levels of education, economic and health disadvantage are the highest in Queensland and the highest in Australia.
Monique Earsman, the Executive officer of Catholic Social Services Australia, said that as we near the end of anti-poverty week, the results for Hinkler reflect the enormous difference between the haves and the have nots in Australia.
“While poverty is a scourge that tens of thousands live with around Australia, the inequality and disadvantage in places like Bundaberg and Childers is particularly debilitating,” Ms Earsman said.
“Many local families are unable to find adequate housing, don’t have enough money to cover the necessities and are living lives that seemingly offer no hope for the future.
“In one of the richest countries in the world, this should never be the case.”
Robert Sims, Director of local community service provider CentracareCQ said the CSSA research bore out the on the ground experience of hundreds of people living in and around the Wide Bay region.
“Every day, we see children, families and individuals in need of the very basics, whether it be food, clothing or a safe roof over their head,” Mr Sims said.
“Unfortunately, we are certainly seeing a higher rate of people living in sub-standard housing and not having their basic educational and healthcare needs met.
“In a country as rich and as prosperous as Australia, it is beyond comprehension that we are seeing people living these sorts of realities.
“To see some real action for our region, we desperately need the government to lift income support above the poverty line and to increase their investment within the social housing sector,” Mr Sims said.
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