The South Australian Council of Social Service today released its annual Anti-Poverty Week Statement. This year’s statement profiles poverty in four different South Australian communities, highlighting the presence, prevalence, and diversity of poverty as it exists in different parts of the state.
The Statement explores data from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, Burnside, Mount Gambier and Playford Local Government Areas – profiling education, employment, ethnicity, income and other economic resources in each area.
Together with the regional data is a case study of a person’s experience of poverty and hardship in that local community. These paint a picture of what different kinds of poverty looks like and how this inequality can be dependent on/influenced by where you live.
SACOSS Executive Director, Ross Womersley said,
“The case studies that are presented illustrate the close tie that poverty has with poor health, poor education, poor access to the labour market, and poor social capital or broader resources from which you can draw from, in order to improve your life.
“The analysis also confirms that poverty exists everywhere, it’s just that in some places it’s much more hidden than others. Similarly, while poverty can be challenging when experienced on a short-term basis, if there are no means by which to escape, it will have profound impacts over the longer term."
“We know that the costs of housing and access and availability of jobs both play a profound role, and that there are areas of our state where there are much higher concentrations of people experiencing poverty. Based on ACOSS’ report earlier this week we know that 17.7% of children are living in poverty. This is entirely unacceptable.”
“Yet the good news is that the case studies in our report show that support programs and working with people, rather than punishing them for being poor, actually helps people get control of their lives and work their way out of poverty.”
"We need our Federal and State Governments to re-emphasise support rather than coercion in the welfare system, and to work with the community services sector to urgently develop a comprehensive plan to attack poverty.”