Connect with us
Byron Bay News and Weather copy
Mt Warning News and Weather copy
Kyogle News
Grafton News and Events copy
Byron Bay News and Weather copy
Mt Warning News and Weather copy
Kyogle News
Grafton News and Events copy
previous arrow
next arrow

New South Wales News

Cost of living: more low-income households face the prospect of homelessness

Published

on

NSW-Northern-Rivers-Breaking-News
Advertisements
NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

Cost of living: more low-income households face the prospect of homelessness

While we wait for a national housing plan, inflation threatens to squeeze more households out of their homes and onto the streets.

Households are feeling the pinch from the rising cost of living. But while the price of electricity, groceries and petrol are causing concerns, perhaps the most significant rising cost is housing.

Dr Andrew Clarke from the School of Social SciencesUNSW Arts, Design & Architecture, says more low-income households are at risk of becoming homeless as they find themselves priced out of an increasingly competitive private rental market.

“Internal migration to regional areas during the pandemic has seen low vacancy rates and skyrocketing asking prices in the private rental market there. Meanwhile, stagnant levels of affordable housing development in capital cities have failed to keep up with population growth, let alone rising need,” Dr Clarke says.

The new federal government has recently committed to developing a national plan to address housing insecurity and homelessness. But while an encouraging signal of intent, its value will ultimately depend on how much emphasis it places on new investment in social and affordable housing.

“We’ve seen lots of practice innovations in the homelessness sector over the last decade. However, without any real increase in the supply of social housing, these have not been able to make much of an impact,” Dr Clarke says. “The new plan can’t just be about changing up how homelessness services operate. It has to provide a housing-centred solution to the worsening housing crisis.”

In the meantime, there is plenty governments can do to help vulnerable people affected by rising rents and other necessities whilst the plan is being developed.

“The pandemic had a unique set of circumstances where governments used empty hotels and student facilities to accommodate homeless people in a public health emergency. But what that showed is that we can move quickly on the issue if we choose,” Dr Clarke says.

Homelessness amidst rising living costs

At the 2016 Census, there were 116,000 people who reported they were homeless – a 14 per cent increase from the previous Census. Dr Clarke suggests those figures would be a conservative estimate today, given current economic conditions and that homelessness data is challenging to gather at the best of times.

“We don’t have great data to measure the scale of homelessness in Australia as it’s hard to compile,” Dr Clarke says. “But we would expect to see that upward trajectory continue when we get the 2021 Census data, given the housing market impacts of the pandemic.”

Dr Clarke says service providers are reporting more people finding themselves homeless for the first time, like people working low-paid jobs.

“We’re hearing from social services providers that new cohorts that don’t typically experience homelessness at the same scale are finding themselves unable to secure or sustain housing,” he says.

The largest group affected by rising living costs are those on fixed incomes, such as government support payments, many of which are below the poverty line, according to Dr Clarke.

“Payments are fixed and indexed at a rate far below what you need to survive even before this inflationary moment. Despite the recent small increase in the JobSeeker Payment, people on those incomes will struggle the most in the context of rising living costs.”

Addressing homelessness in the interim

During the pandemic, there were unprecedented support measures for homeless people or those at risk of homelessness, including temporary eviction moratoriumsincreases in government support payments and large-scale transitional accommodation initiatives, like NSW’s Together Home program. Dr Clarke says we need to revisit similar measures or risk more households slipping into homelessness.

“Government could re-engage and expand some of those programs for those people currently impacted by rising rents and other basic living costs,” Dr Clarke says.

Longer term, the lack of social housing remains a significant barrier to addressing homelessness at scale. But transitional head-leasing – where governments fund homelessness service providers to sublease a property from the private rental market to households – could be a temporary solution.

“It wouldn’t solve the shortage of social housing in the long-term, but as a transitional solution, it could be viable,” Dr Clarke says.

An immediate increase in unemployment benefits would also help to ease the cost-of-living pressures in the interim for households at risk of homelessness, Dr Clarke says.

“Research continually shows how inadequate those payments are and their impact on people, undermining their ability to meet rent and forcing them to rely on charity to meet basic needs.

“It’s important to recognise that if we hope to address other social issues, it has to start with everyone having a safe, secure and affordable place to live.”

Advertisements
Tenterfield-The Bowlo
Continue Reading

Local News

‘Buckle Up on the Bus’ Campaign Launched by Transport for NSW

Published

on

By

NSW-Northern-Rivers-Breaking-News
Advertisements
NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

‘Buckle Up on the Bus’ Campaign Launched by Transport for NSW

 

Regional bus passengers across NSW are set to receive important reminders to “Buckle up on the bus” with the launch of Transport for NSW’s new advertising campaign. This campaign will be featured on TV, radio, digital media, social media, and regional print newspapers starting today.

Howard Collins, Coordinator General at Transport for NSW, stated that this advertising campaign is the second phase of a program aimed at ensuring regional bus passengers understand that buckling up is mandatory on all buses equipped with seatbelts in NSW.

“The first phase of the campaign saw Transport for NSW install posters, stickers, and decals on more than 2,500 buses across regional NSW,” Mr. Collins explained.

Research by Transport for NSW highlighted a lack of awareness among many bus passengers regarding the physics of a bus crash—when a bus stops suddenly, loose items continue to move at speed. The new advertisement dramatically illustrates the impact of a bus crash, showing a locket snapping off a passenger’s neck and flying through the air, symbolizing the connection to a loved one and their irreplaceable loss.

The campaign is a direct result of recommendations from the Bus Industry Taskforce, which was formed last year to enhance bus services and improve safety following the tragic Hunter Valley bus crash.

“As the campaign states, ‘In the event of a crash, the bus will stop, you won’t.’ This highlights the importance of every adult adhering to their legal obligation to wear a seatbelt when available on a bus, and for parents and carers to discuss this safety measure with their children,” Mr. Collins said. “Wearing a seatbelt doubles your chances of survival in a crash – it’s a simple act that is not only a legal requirement but one that could save your life or your child’s life.”

BusNSW Executive Director, Matt Threlkeld, also endorsed the campaign. “The industry seeks community support to build a culture where passengers, including school students, understand that wearing a seatbelt on a bus is not a personal choice but a legal requirement,” Mr. Threlkeld said.

 

For more New South Whales news, click here.

Advertisements
Tenterfield-The Bowlo
Continue Reading

Local News

Three FRNSW Veterans Honoured with Australian Fire Service Medal

Published

on

By

NSW-Northern-Rivers-Breaking-News
Advertisements
NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

Three FRNSW Veterans Honoured with Australian Fire Service Medal

 

Three distinguished veterans of Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) have been awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal (AFSM) in recognition of their exceptional service and dedication to community safety. The AFSM, established in 1988, honours the distinguished service of firefighters, both permanent and volunteer, and is presented annually on the King’s Birthday by the Governor-General, based on recommendations from Commonwealth and State ministers.

This year’s honourees are:

Assistant Commissioner – Regional Operations, Cheryl Anne Steer

Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Anne Steer began her career 28 years ago and has risen through the ranks to lead Regional Operations for FRNSW. Known for her operational excellence and effective management of major emergencies, she also mentors female firefighters and promotes values-based leadership. As co-chair of the FRNSW Women’s Inclusive Network (WIN) and director of the Relief and Welfare Fund, she supports colleagues in need. Additionally, she contributes to documenting the history of female firefighters at the Museum of Fire.

Chief Superintendent – Capability Management, Paul Johnstone

Chief Superintendent Paul Johnstone has dedicated 38 years to the fire service since joining the New South Wales Fire Brigades in 1985. His career includes roles in inner Sydney, Operational Staffing, and HAZMAT/Counter Terrorism. He has led significant improvements in medical capabilities, firefighter training, and in-water rescue capabilities. His contributions extend to enhancing policies, standards, and procedures, and he played a critical role in the response to the 2021/22 floods.

Captain, Paul James Dorin, Corrimal Fire Station

Captain Paul James Dorin joined FRNSW in 1993 as an On-Call firefighter. He is known for his commitment to community service and has developed numerous safety initiatives, including the Home Care Disability Fire Safety Program and the Smoke Alarm Action Day project. Beyond his duties, Captain Dorin is a talented cartoonist, using his art to raise funds for research into birth defects and childhood diseases such as cancer and epilepsy.

FRNSW Commissioner Jeremy Fewtrell praised the award recipients for their exemplary service and dedication. “All three firefighters are widely recognized for their devotion to duty and their professional, thoughtful, and caring approach to their work,” Commissioner Fewtrell stated. “I’m personally very proud of them and they thoroughly deserve the recognition.”

Emergency Services Minister Jihad Dib highlighted the professionalism and commitment of the honourees, stating, “Their professionalism consistently gets the job done. They have earned this recognition through courage and commitment, and I’m very pleased these firefighters are being honoured on the King’s Birthday in this way.”

 

For more New South Whales news, click here.

Advertisements
Tenterfield-The Bowlo
Continue Reading

Local News

War Memorials Across NSW to Receive Funding

Published

on

By

Community War Memorials Fund
Advertisements
NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

War Memorials Across NSW to Receive Funding

 

The NSW Government has announced funding for 19 war memorials across the state through Round 2 of the 2023/24 Community War Memorials Fund. A total of $150,000 has been allocated to support projects that preserve and enhance these significant community landmarks.

Funding Details

This round saw 28 applications from 23 Local Government Areas, with successful applicants coming from 16 Local Government Areas and representing 13 electorates. The funded projects span the state, from Bombala in the far south to Lake Cargelligo in the west, and McKees Hill in the far north.

Key highlights include:

  • Bombala RSL sub-Branch: Awarded $10,000 for a condition assessment of the Bombala War Memorial to identify necessary conservation works.
  • Blackheath War Memorial Arch: Also receiving funds for vital conservation efforts.

The Community War Memorials Fund aims to ensure that local war memorials remain well-maintained and continue to serve as places of reflection and remembrance.

Ministerial Comments

Minister for Veterans, David Harris, expressed pride in the initiative, emphasizing the importance of preserving these historical sites.

“It is wonderful to announce this funding, which will be used for important projects around the state. Our communities are proud of their military history, and local war memorials are a vital part of our culture enabling us to reflect on over 100 years of our veterans’ service and sacrifice.

A total of $150,496.65 was awarded to councils, RSL sub-Branches, and community groups, with grants ranging from $2,000 to $15,000 to fund conservation projects in 13 state electorates in both metropolitan and regional areas. I encourage all communities to review the status of their local war memorials and to apply for funding for any restoration work that is needed.”

Community Responses

Mr. Vern Carmody, Honorary Secretary of the Bombala RSL sub-Branch, expressed gratitude for the grant which will aid in the preservation of the Bombala War Memorial.

“Thank you to the NSW Government for this grant for the heritage assessment of our wonderful war memorial at Bombala. This will assist us to attain an assessment of the repairs and conservation required for this historical cenotaph that was erected for the citizens of Bombala in 1922. The memorial is a centrepiece of the Dawn Service and Veterans’ March every Anzac Day, and also used for Remembrance Day activities. Bombala RSL sub-Branch would also like to thank the staff of the Snowy-Monaro Regional Council who assisted us in the preparation of the grant application.”

Dr. Rosemary Dillon, CEO of Blue Mountains City Council, highlighted the cultural and historical significance of local war memorials.

“Local war memorials are central features of our towns and villages, and they are precious to us all. They pay respect to those who put their country and their fellow servicemen and women before them. They are an ode to those who fought so we can have the freedoms we take for granted today. Erected around 1929, the Blackheath War Memorial contains 76 names of local men who served overseas in the First World War, including six who died on active service. This funding will go towards restoration works at Blackheath War Memorial, which will help with the protection and conservation of the memorial for years to come.”

Next Steps

Round 1 of the 2024/25 Community War Memorials Fund is currently open and will close on 24 July 2024. Communities are encouraged to review their local war memorials and apply for funding to address any conservation needs.

For more information and to apply for funding, visit the NSW Veterans Affairs website.

Conclusion

The NSW Government’s commitment to funding war memorials underscores the importance of preserving these sites as part of Australia’s cultural heritage. By providing financial support for their upkeep, the government ensures that future generations can continue to honour and remember the sacrifices made by veterans.

 

For more New South Whales news, click here.

Advertisements
Tenterfield-The Bowlo
Continue Reading

NRTimes Online

Advertisement

National News Australia

Latest News

Verified by MonsterInsights