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Byron Shire
February 9, 2023

More than a quarter of kids in Ballina, Bruns and Ocean Shores in poverty

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The NCOSS interactive poverty rates map is washed in red when looking at poverty rates for children on the Northern Rivers.

Around a fifth of people living in various parts of the Northern Rivers are living in poverty, including up to one in four children.

The latest research on poverty rates from the New South Wales Council of Social Services shows the official status of ‘economically disadvantaged’ is rife in the region.

People who are economically disadvantaged have less than half Australia’s median household disposable income, NCOSS says.

The organisation has made the information publicly available via an interactive map online.

Mullum, Bruns, Ocean Shores, Tweed Heads, Lismore and Tenterfield top Northern Rivers poverty list

The Mapping Economic Disadvantage in NSW report shows nearly 20% of residents in Mullumbimby, Goonengerry, Myocum and Main Arm – around 1,300 people – are officially living in poverty.

Similar figures are reported for Brunswick Heads, Ocean Shores and Tweed Heads.

Thirteen hundred people in the Brunswick Heads / Ocean Shores area are living in poverty, which is 18.5% of the population there.

Further north on Tweed Heads, 19% of the population is living in poverty and with more people living there, the figure reflects 3,200 individuals.

Around 17% of residents in Murwillumbah, north-west of Byron and Goonellabah, east of Lismore, is in poverty.

But the worst poverty rate is in the Lismore inner-city area, affecting 2,700 people, which is more than a fifth of all  residents there.

The poorest people in the region are living in North Lismore, Lismore Heights, South Lismore, East Lismore and Girards Hill.

Out west, 1,100 people in the Tenterfield Shire are also affected and again, that’s nearly 20% of the population there.

Lowest rates of poverty on Lennox and Skennars Heads

Residents in the Bangalow and outer Lismore areas, including Rosebank, Clunes, Nimbin and Bentley seem to be faring better overall, with roughly 14% of residents in poverty.

Figures for Byron Bay and Ballina are slightly better again: just less than 14% of populations are economically disadvantaged.

Around a thousand people in the Byron Bay area, including Suffolk Park and Broken Head, and 2,000 in the Ballina area, are suffering poverty.

But Lennox Head and Skennars Head have the lowest rates of poverty in the region at less than ten per cent of the population, or around six hundred people.

Children and unemployed the poorest by far

Figures for children and unemployed people specifically are the worst and result in almost the whole region being flooded in red on the NCOSS map.

Red represents rates of poverty higher than 20%.

Nearly a third of all children in the inner-Lismore and Murwillumbah areas are in poverty and more than 1 in 4 children in Ballina, Brunswick Heads and Ocean Shores are in the same category.

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  1. Taking single parents off the pension and dropping their income by at least $100/week did heaps to increase child poverty. How could it not?

    • Well Maggie,
      As our great and noble benefactor, Scott, has taken great care to explain.
      “the best form of welfare is a job” and I’m sure he could find ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ for all these little kiddies in the mines or “picking fruit” for millionaire “struggling farmers”.

      Of course these kids would have to compete with Scott’s new wave of Kanakas and those forced to work under inhuman slave conditions in order to extend their visas. However these politicians, who have never suffered poverty or WORK, will be sure to explain how competition will be just the ticket for the poor and, of course with such low wages, employers too, will be able to benefit,.. another win, win situation.

      ….And you thought they were only in it for themselves G”)

  2. Yep. Kick people off NoStart, and Disability support and hit therm with Robocop debt to help them get a job
    That’s the way to help people and boost the almighty surplus

  3. l believe our community’s have’s are not helping there have not neighbors. The entitled people that have moved to our area with family money don’t contribute enough to the community they moved to . They are more interested in driving flash car’s and eating out at hip joint’s,they are more interested in judging the less fortunate long term residents in our area than trying to understand why they are poor. They have no compassion because of there judgmental way’s and there city upbringing.
    kids don’t get a choose, they are kids and it take a community to help not a community to judge.



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