Date published: Tuesday 17 October 2017
Category(ies): Media release
Anti-Poverty Week 2017
National peak body Baptist Care Australia has chosen Anti-Poverty Week to warn Australians of the risk of ignoring our current poverty crisis and calls for action to end child poverty.
“I think many people believe that poverty doesn’t exist in Australia,” said Marcia Balzer, Executive Director of Baptist Care Australia.
“But the truth is that by the OECD poverty line measure, there are just under 3 million people in Australia living below the poverty line. Seven hundred thousand of them are children.
“For a relatively wealthy country like Australia, this is just totally unacceptable.
“The biggest issue is that by not adequately addressing poverty, we are denying children the opportunities that are afforded to other Australians - the opportunity to live in a safe, secure and affordable home, the opportunity to access healthcare, the opportunity to have an education, and build a strong future,” Ms Balzer said.
“If we don’t take steps to seriously address some of the issues associated with entrenched disadvantage, the situation is only going to get worse. There is a real social and economic cost associated with people experiencing poverty, and this cost affects us all.
“Ending poverty is not an impossible problem. This week, Baptist Care Australia joins other social sector organisations in calling for a serious attempt by the federal government to reduce child poverty. By continuing to take no action, we’re diminishing the future of all Australians.
“We urge the government to commit to ending child poverty in Australia. Poverty is not acceptable in a caring society, and we simply cannot keep neglecting the Australian families who struggle to make ends meet,” Ms Balzer said.
The Baptist Care Australia network serves people in aged care, affected by family violence and homelessness, on low incomes, experiencing relationship breakdown, and affected by multigenerational disadvantage. Member organisations have an annual turnover of more than $700 million, employ more than 9000 staff and engage more than 2500 volunteers each year. Baptist Care Australia draws on the policy and operational expertise of members to advocate on issues such as social housing and homelessness, inequality and disadvantage, disability services, aged care, children and youth, and domestic and family violence.
Media inquiries: Marcia Balzer, Executive Director, 0402 971 710, firstname.lastname@example.org