Two of Australia’s most marginal seats, Bass and Braddon in Tasmania, suffer among the nation’s highest levels of persistent disadvantage, according to major research undertaken by Catholic Social Services Australia and the Australian National University.
The research undertaken in 2020, shows that in the towns and regional areas of Bass and Braddon the levels of education, economic and health disadvantage are the highest in Tasmania and among the highest in Australia.
The study, Mapping the Potential, gave every electorate a score that measured the extent of persistent disadvantage looking at the economic, educational, healthy and social opportunities in each seat.
In Bass the study found that, on average across the four measures, the seat is 10 per cent below the national average, but is 14 per cent below the national average for health outcomes that relate to physical wellbeing.
In Braddon, the results were slightly worse, with an average score 12.4 per cent below the national average across the four measures and 18.2 per cent below the national average for health outcomes.
Francis Sullivan, Chair of Catholic Social Services Australia, said that just a week out from the federal election, the results for Bass and Braddon reflect the enormous difference between the haves and the have nots in Australia.
“The tragedy is that as we close in on the election people living in these communities don’t really have a lot to look forward to,” Mr Sullivan said.
“However, at least we saw yesterday Labor leader, Antony Albanese, indicate that he wants to throw his passion and weight behind the plight of low-income people when he called for an increase in the minimum wage.
“Now we need to see how that will translate beyond fighting inflation to improving the NDIS, access to services for the chronically ill, and breaking down areas of social exclusion.
“The Prime Minister should now match Mr Albanese’s call for a higher minimum wage so the low paid don’t fall further behind because of inflation,” Mr Sullivan said.
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