Following the release of “Investing in WA’s Future: Reducing poverty and improving children’s well-being” today – a report by the WA Social Research Network – we have updated the key messages to reflect that there are almost 95,000 children in poverty in Western Australia.
The APW 2021 WA Steering Committee has pulled together a series of social media assets that you can use to help promote Anti-Poverty Week and the key messages. As we have in previous years, Anti-Poverty Week will also be supporting and cross-promoting the Everybody’s Home campaign which aims to ensure all Australians have a roof over their head because access to safe and affordable housing for all is the best solution to reducing poverty.
We are also supporting the Raise The Rate campaign, led by ACOSS. We know that $40 a day is not enough to live on, or cover the basics, such as housing, food, bills, and transport. People living on income support right now in Australia are living below the poverty line; a political choice made by the Morrison Government.
To get through this crisis, we need to support each other so that everyone has access to the basics to rebuild their lives.
Don’t forget to use the hashtags #APW2021 #RaiseTheRate and #EverybodysHome when posting to social media. You can use the Key Messages below to help frame your social media posts.
Key messages for WA
Anti-Poverty Week WA would this year like to acknowledge the WA Government’s commitment to build at least 3,300 more social houses – a welcome investment that will go some of the way towards relieving the pressures on WA’s social housing system.
While we know that these issues in the housing system will not be solved over night, it is clear from this announcement and the ambitious timeline in spite of WA’s construction shortages that the WA Government is taking seriously this issue impacting so many low-income West Australians, with interim measures to update and convert existing social housing stock until new stock can be be built from 2022-23.
On behalf of the WA Steering Committee we would like to encourage you to share the resources available in this email and promote the key messages and events of Anti-Poverty Week 2021 across social media and with your networks.
- More than 270,000 Western Australians are living in poverty, including almost 95,000 children.
Adequate income support:
- 1 in 10 Western Australians, including 1 in 5 children, are struggling to survive on income support payments – such as JobSeeker – that puts them below the poverty line.
- The coronavirus supplement lifted 68,000 Western Australians, including 7,000 children, out of poverty during 2020.
Affordable and safe housing:
- Australia is the third least affordable housing market in the world; more than 1 in 9 households pay more for housing than they can afford.
- More than 9,000 Western Australians are experiencing homelessness, including women and children, and more than 4,100 access homelessness services every single day;
- There are over 17,300 WA households – around 39,000 people – on the social housing waiting list;
- 50% of low income households in Western Australia are experiencing rental stress.
Universal quality education and care for children:
- We all deserve access to quality education for ourselves and for our children, regardless of our background or experiences;
- Access to quality education is a key barrier to people who are living in poverty – 43% of Western Australians experiencing entrenched disadvantage did not complete high school and more than a third have no tertiary qualifications
An end to family and domestic violence:
- The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the factors that lead to family and domestic violence, according to a survey of WA women and statistics from WA Police:
- Family related offences in Western Australia are up 19.3% since the start of the pandemic;
- More than two thirds of women who experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former cohabiting partner since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic said the violence had started or escalated in the three months prior to the May 2020 survey
- One in five women (19.9%) who experienced coercive control said that this was the first time their partner had exercised multiple tactics of emotionally abusive, harassing or controlling behaviour within their relationship.
- Among women who had experienced physical or sexual violence from their current or former cohabiting partner prior to February 2020, more than half (53.1%) said the violence had increased in frequency or severity since the start of the pandemic
In Western Australia, leaving a violent relationship costs an average of $18,000 and takes at least 141 hours – for a women, often with dependent children, this is a significant barrier.
What is “Entrenched Disadvantage”?
100 Families WA is a collective action research project with a vision to address the issue of entrenched disadvantage or hardship, as experienced by families living in Western Australia (WA). Running for the last 3 years, 100 Families WA launched its report in August 2021.
Entrenched disadvantage is characterised by persistent low income and negative life experiences across multiple areas of wellbeing, including physical and mental health, employment, housing, education, safety and social inclusion. People’s pathways into entrenched disadvantage are varied and complex, distinguished by a series of interlocking and compounding challenges that make everyday life very difficult.
Exiting entrenched disadvantage is not a simple nor easy process. Families need holistic, innovative and wide-ranging flexible supports that allow them to make improvements to their lives. Where these pathways are not present or are insufficient to the individual’s needs and there is an absence of early intervention and preventative measures, over time families risk slipping further into their disadvantage and becoming stuck or entrenched.
‘Welcome to our World’ digital platform
As part of final report, 100 Families WA launched ‘Welcome to Our World’ – an online interactive tool spoken by families on their experiences of disadvantage. It offers the opportunity to hear from families on what they are going through, see the higher level research findings and find out what can be done to address the issues. Please use this tool widely e.g. in trainings, workshops and any other way that you can think of that helps make people more aware of what families go through and what can be done to make meaningful change.
You can access the platform by visiting www.ourworld.100familieswa.org.au
Acknowledgement of Country
Ngala kaaditj Noongar Wadjuk moort keyen kaadak nidja boodja.
In the spirit of deepening relationship, we acknowledge Wadjuk Noongar people as the original custodians of the land on which our metro office sits. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Western Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to Elders both past and present.
Copyright © 2021 Western Australian Council of Social Service Inc., All rights reserved.
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In Australia today 2.65 million adults and children struggle to survive on income payments that are well below the poverty line, that’s over one in 10 Australians – including 940,000 children (1 in 5) who are growing up in the poorest families. Many are at risk of homelessness due to a shortage of affordable housing.
COVID Disaster payments ending prematurely
The Treasurer announced on 29/9/21 that COVID Disaster Payments would end, based not on need, but when vaccination rates reach certain milestones. Automatic payments have now ended for people living in NSW and the ACT as these jurisdictions have reached their 70% vaccination rate. On 8/10/21 Services Australia said: “The last relevant period for automatic payments in ACT is 1-7 October; in NSW it is 3-9 October 2021.”
Anti-Poverty Week analysis shows this will affect up to 2 million Australians who have lost their jobs in three jurisdictions affected by recent lockdowns. This includes 1.06 million in NSW; 688,000 in Victoria and 64,000 in the ACT plus 177,00 DSS recipients who lost part-time work. (Source: COVID Disaster Payment Dept Health as at midnight 6/10/21. The total of 1.983 million is nearly double the total receiving DSS unemployment payments across the country which was 1.06 million on 24/9/21. APW estimates around 4 in 5 of these people have been receiving income support for more than a year.
The current base JobSeeker Payment of $320 per week is well below the poverty line of $457 for a single person. It is not clear what waiting periods will apply to people who don’t immediately get their jobs back or find another one, lose the COVID Disaster Payment and apply for JobSeeker Payment.
See below for our explainer table of rates of payment and when changes occur: COVID Disaster Payment rates and rules announced 29/9/21
See also: ABC online, Effective unemployment 8 percent but government support is low, 25/09/21
Federal Budget update
Government expenses in 2020-21 down $7.5 billion compared to estimates in 2021-22 Budget. The majority – $5.0 billion – is from social security and welfare including $1.2b from lower expenditure on JobSeeker; $1b from lower family assistance; $700m from lower aged care spending.
Get Online Week and APW
Tuesday 19 October
Data poverty and affordability is a big challenge for people getting connected. You can find out how to help people get online here. See also new Tip Sheet co-authored by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and Good Things Foundation as part of Get Online Week.
Many thanks to our 2021 Sponsors
Our 2021 Sponsors are:
- Anglicare Australia
- Australian Education Union
- Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation
- UnitingCare Australia
- Uniting Communities SA
- Uniting Vic. Tas
- Salvation Army
Thanks also to our fabulous 2021 State/Territory Co-Chairs and National Facilitating Group, listed here.
Our Fast Facts series provides a snapshot into the realities of poverty in Australia and around the world that aim to help you educate and inform your community.
You can download and print these resources: