Page 3074 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 October 2022

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Canberra—cost of living

MS LEE (Kurrajong—Leader of the Opposition) (3.33): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) the ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) estimates that 38,000 Canberrans live in poverty, including 9,000 children;

(b) in its submission to the ACT Budget 2022-23, ACTCOSS also reports:

(i) that the ACT has the highest rate of rental stress among lower income households in private rentals;

(ii) over 25,000 people living in low-income households experience food stress; and

(iii) households in the lowest income quintile spend over 55 percent of their income on housing, food and transport;

(c) recent cost of living increases hit lower income Canberrans the hardest; and

(d) 16-22 October 2022 is Anti-Poverty Week; and

(2) calls on the ACT Government to:

(a) commission an independent inquiry into the prevalence of poverty in Canberra, with the following terms of reference:

(i) the rates and drivers of poverty;

(ii) the relationship between economic conditions (including fiscal policy, rising inflation and cost of living pressures) and poverty;

(iii) the impact of poverty on individuals in relation to:

(A) employment outcomes;

(B) housing security;

(C) health outcomes; and

(D) education outcomes;

(iv) the effects of poverty in different demographics and communities;

(v) the relationship between income support payments and poverty;

(vi) mechanisms to address and reduce poverty; and

(vii) any related matters; and

(b) table the report of the inquiry in the Assembly by the first sitting day of 2023.

From this Sunday, the ACT, along with the rest of Australia, will recognise Anti-Poverty Week. Since 2002, the organisers behind Anti-Poverty Week have sought to promote greater action toward to tackling poverty in the community. Last year, their campaign called on parliamentarians around Australia to better support those experiencing poverty. It was also in February last year that the Canberra Liberals put forward a motion to establish a poverty taskforce to investigate the ongoing causes of poverty in the ACT.

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