25.6 C
Byron Shire
December 3, 2021

Lismore forum calls on government to ‘Raise the Rate’ of Newstart

Latest News

Last mayoral candidates Q and A: are you a landlord?

Here at The Echo we have seen and heard the word ‘housing’ come up time and again throughout the local government election campaign period, whether it’s from candidates or other voters.

Other News

Want to make your own nest box and help with bushfire recovery on Friday?

Conservation Volunteers Australia are running a nest-building workshop in one of Australia’s most biodiverse hotspots, the Nightcap Range, ‘to create homes and hope for wildlife’.

Serious assault charges – Coffs Harbour

NSW Police say that four men will face court today charged following an alleged serious assault of a man on the state’s mid-north coast over the weekend.

What do the Tweed Council candidates stand for?

The final day of voting for your local Tweed Shire Councill candidates is Saturday 4 December at a venue near you.

Last chance for tickets to Byron Shire Council Meet the Candidates forum

Today is your last chance to get tickets to tonight’s Byron Shire Meet the Candidates forum in the Byron Theatre.

Election week sees Vanessa Ekins doing her blocky

Enjoying a few precious minutes break in an election week is a real luxury and Lismore mayoral candidate and current Mayor Vanessa Ekins managed to fit an Echo interview in between her TAFE Auslan course and the pre-poll station on Woodlark Street.

Which values are important?

Public opinion sure is divided about the Dunoon Dam (the DuD). Clearly it does not have sufficient social licence...

The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) have been taking their message that $40 a day to live on is not enough around Australia in the lead up to the federal elections. Photo supplied.

Could you pay your rent and bills, buy food and try look for work or training on $40 a day? The challenges this presents to people on Newstart and Youth Allowance are being highlighted tomorrow (Friday, May 10) at the Raise the Rate community forum in Lismore in the electorate of Page which is one of the key marginal seats in this election. The forum is being hosted by  ACOSS (Australian Council of Social Service) and is calling for an increase for Newstart.

‘Australia’s income support system was designed to help people when they are going through tough times to support them into suitable paid work,’ said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie. ‘But Newstart is not working – the rate has not been increased in real terms for 25 years while living costs for people on low incomes have gone through the roof.’

You’re invited

The community forum is being held at the Lismore Workers Club, 231 Keen Street, Lismore from 1 till 2.30pm and they will be hearing from local residents receiving Newstart who will share their stories about how tough it is to survive on the current rate of $40 per day.

‘It is an open forum and we are keen to hear from people that have lived experience and engagement with the issues and are inviting people to come along,’ said a spokesperson for ACOSS.

Page: a marginal seat where your vote counts

The electorate of Page is a marginal seat currently held by Kevin Hogan from the Nationals with a margin of 2.3 per cent.

Currently there are 10,044 residents in the electorate of Page receiving either the Newstart or Youth Allowance and the call to Raise the Rate has recently been joined by the Country Women’s Association Australia (CWAA).

‘We support the Raise the Rate campaign to increase Newstart and other allowances because an increase will strengthen our communities and help people get through tough times,’ said CWAA president Tanya Cameron.

‘Rural and regional communities have been hit hard with drought and floods, with many of these areas experiencing high rates of unemployment.

‘It is impossible to live on $40 a day in rural and regional Australia. You cannot run a car, pay the rent and buy groceries with such little money.

‘Raising the rate of Newstart and other allowances will help people focus on their futures rather than be totally consumed with their current situation of financial crisis,’ she said.

Maureen Buckingham, a Newstart recipient in her early 60s says, ‘It is a struggle to survive on Newstart, even with me being paid the higher base amount due to my age (over 60).’

‘My basic expenses of food, minimal rent, as I own my house, insurances, water, electricity and vehicle running costs see me $70 per week short and this must be paid for from my savings for retirement from my superannuation account. This is just to keep the roof over my head, food on the table and a vehicle running to try and find work and commute to work should I be lucky enough to get a job.’

With just over one week until the federal election ACOSS are travelling to Lismore to hear directly from members of the local community and to strengthen their call on the government and all candidates to pledge their support for the campaign.


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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

On the ground work assists evicted women 

We know the region has some of the highest rents, and highest housing costs in Australia. We all know that this has virtually eliminated affordable housing. We hear the stories of women and children being evicted, of couch surfing and living in cars.

What do the Tweed Council candidates stand for?

The final day of voting for your local Tweed Shire Councill candidates is Saturday 4 December at a venue near you.

Today is International Day of People with Disability

This language trend around People With a Disability has tended to emphasise the disability rather than the person, which can lead to derogatory labelling, depersonalisation or impersonal, collective references.

Master Mariner Bill Fenelon looks to the future of Tweed Shire

Bill Fenelon, who has called the Tweed Valley home since 2009, is heading up Group A and is running as an Independent with Carolyn...