13.3 C
Byron Shire
October 3, 2022

Poverty more widespread in the northern rivers

Latest News

‘Sad and distressing’: massive numbers of bird deaths in Australian heatwaves reveal a profound loss is looming

Heatwaves linked to climate change have already led to mass deaths of birds and other wildlife around the world. To stem the loss of biodiversity as the climate warms, we need to better understand how birds respond.

Other News

Lismore activist who blocked Sydney traffic has charges dismissed

This morning, twenty-two year old climate activist Mali Cooper faced court in Lismore, after blocking the entrance to the Sydney Harbour Tunnel during peak hour traffic in June, to protest inaction on the climate emergency.

Sherril claims open singles bowls championship

Sherril Pearce had the best of the day, beating Lorraine ‘Blossom’ McCormick 25–12 to win the open singles championship...

Editorial – Break out the bubbly for Budget Estimates

Budget Estimates is truly one of the most revealing and best educational services that the NSW government offers. MPs from the opposition grill ministers and agency bosses without mercy, for hours. 

Monty’s: strawberries and insanity

‘Strawberries are insanely amazing,’ I hear Dave (‘Monty’) tell one customer. Regarding his punnets – three sizes, family, medium,...

It is a weekend of excitement, fun and laughter for everyone at the National Circus Festival

It truly is like stepping into another world as you enter The Famous Spiegeltent which is here for the National Circus Festival that is taking place this weekend in Mullumbimby before it once again heads off around the world.

Wahlburgers in Byron

Walking into Wahlburgers on Sunday arvo, the sun was shining, the staff were smiling, there was a nice vibe...

Photo Rudiger Wasser. For more visit www.rudigerwasser.com.
20 per cent of the state’s rough sleepers are in the northern rivers, according to NCOSS. Photo Rudiger Wasser. For more visit www.rudigerwasser.com.

While our region accounts for only four per cent of the NSW population, some 20 per cent of the state’s rough sleepers are here in the northern rivers, according to Tony Davies, CEO of Social Futures.

And as many as 28 per cent of children in the Kyogle LGA are living in poverty, with all local LGAs having more than 20 per cent.

All up, there are some 11,000 children living in poverty on the northern rivers.

Mr Davies was speaking about a new plan released yesterday by the NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS) and presented to NSW treasurer Gladys Berejiklian that calls for state budget changes that would reduce the experience of poverty and disadvantage in NSW.

The NCOSS plan, released to coincide with Anti-Poverty Week, identifies key funding priorities for our region including: investment in a cost of living package, mental health services for young people, early childhood education, a state-wide roll out of nurse-led home visits, oral health services and introducing phase 2 of the Social and Affordable Housing Fund.

Mr Davies said the priorities highlighted in the plan were ‘immensely important for communities in the Northern Rivers, particularly those related to social and affordable housing.’

Sandra Handley, Northern Rivers Regional Manager of YWCA NSW says ‘all of the seven local government areas in the Northern Rivers have rates of child poverty which are higher than the NSW average, which sees one in every seven children living in poverty.

‘Organisations and communities in our region are working together to respond to the challenges and issues identified in the submission. We need well-targeted investment to respond to those challenges and to reduce persistent poverty rates in NSW and within the Northern Rivers’ states Handley.

NCOSS CEO Tracy Howe says the plan is the result of ‘extensive consultation across the state with communities, services and with people experiencing poverty and disadvantage themselves.’

Mr Davies said ‘the priorities in the submission reflect those of the Northern Rivers Social Change Collaboration – a group of organisations and service providers working together to improve community wellbeing in the region – including collective work to support better chances for children and young people, and attracting and facilitating investment in delivery of affordable housing in the Northern Rivers.’

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Perhaps it might be a good idea to go and interview all the rough sleepers to see what their perspective is. Why they think they are doing what they are doing and what they would like different. Perhaps there is a clue in creating a positive lifestyle out of this rather than trying to squeeeze them onto the existing niches that they may have been trying to escape.

  2. Are the rough sleepers, part of the larger than life back-packer community, enjoying the mildest and most enjoyable weather conditions and environment in Australia?

    A more realistic view of poverty on the coastal strip, are struggling families with children on low incomes; their housing and transport needs.

    More urgent work needs to be done to protect them, by simply clamping down on slum lords and rent gougers!

    With the sudden influx of road workers from the new expressway road building project between Sydney and Brisbane, has come an increase in rents and evictions, of long term renters from the once affordable housing, making way for housing road workers, as a lucrative alternative for landlords.

    In my observation, this has been a merciless process, propped up (and promoted) by local real estate agencies.

    Laws protecting tenants are weak, and weighted heavily towards landlord profits, especially in NSW.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

CWA push for improved maternity services

The W in CWA stands for Women and the CWA have been standing up for women yet again during their recent webinar and annual Awareness Week campaign.

Chris Minns visits Kingscliff to look at floodplain development risks

The potential future risks and costs of flooding to the community and government if approved, but yet to be built, housing is allowed to go ahead in floodplains was under the spotlight last week in Kingscliff.

The Tweed Artisan Food Festival is almost here

The sixth Tweed Artisan Food Festival will be held at the end of the month – the festival runs for 10 days with 20 curated events showcasing the people, the place and the produce of the Tweed.

$30 million Aboriginal Community and Place Grants

Eligible Aboriginal community organisations and groups can apply for funding through the new solutions-focused $30 million Aboriginal Community and Place Grants program.