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Greens call for National Poverty Plan, with WA community services facing growing demand

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 14 Oct 2013

To mark Anti-Poverty Week, the Australian Greens have released a survey that shows the increased demands being placed on WA's community services.

The survey, undertaken by Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on families and community services, reflects the views of 31 community service providers from metropolitan and regional areas.

"Overwhelmingly, our survey has found that demand for assistance is growing, particularly for the basics, such as food, housing and household expenses," Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"27 out of 31 organisations said demand for their service has increased over the past six months, with none saying that is has fallen. Alarmingly, almost half of the organisations we surveyed said that they were unable to meet this increase.

"The organisations in the survey identify housing affordability, access to mental health services and the inadequacy of income support payments, including parenting payments and Newstart as top priorities for government. These are areas in which Tony Abbott, both in opposition and in government, has shown no leadership.

"Instead, there are signs that the Coalition will look to place an even heavier burden on the sector, given the new Government has already scrapped the Social Inclusion Board.

"The Greens are calling for a National Poverty Plan to lead a multifaceted approach to reduce disadvantage in the community. This means addressing the underlying causes that continue to trap people in poverty, such as housing affordability, access to health services and adequate levels of income support.

"We took a strong suite of policies to the election which deliver on these important outcomes.

"We expect all sides of politics to commit to reducing poverty in Australia," Senator Siewert concluded.


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