Crime on the rise and kids left hungry due to the cost of living crisis
Joint media release with
Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price
Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians
Senator Kerrynne Liddle
Shadow Minister for Child Protection and Family Violence
Rowan Ramsey MP
Member for Grey
22 August 2023
Kids have been going hungry and crime is on the rise in some regional and remote communities, the Cost of Living Committee has heard at its hearing in Port Augusta.
In evidence provided to the Committee, Coalition Senators Jane Hume, Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and Kerrryne Liddle heard that the cost of living crisis was a “perfect storm” for charities who are facing increased demand at the same time their overheads had skyrocketed.
Foodbank SA and NT told the Committee there has been a significant increase in the number of people coming to their food hubs and requests for school breakfast programs, due to more children showing up to school hungry.
The Salvation Army of Port Augusta said that there had been an increase in instances of crime, particularly break ins and burglaries, in both homes and businesses, as cost of living pressures smash those who are already doing it tough.
Business Port Augusta told the Committee that consumers were spending less in the last 12 months and shoplifting was increasing, which were simply adding more costs to small businesses trying to serve the community.
Senator Hume said that while cost of living pressures bite differently across different demographics and geographic locations, there were common themes emerging.
“We heard yet again that double income families are being forced to seek charity assistance because they couldn’t make ends meet with interest rates this high.”
“It is essential that the Committee hear stories from Australians right around the country because it is through the experiences of everyday Australians, that we are able to understand where the problems are and can find real solutions,” said Senator Hume.
Senator Nampijinpa Price said the evidence heard first hand from community services who are doing it tough was alarming.
“Community organisations are struggling to provide assistance in response to a major increase in domestic violence and family breakdowns.
“The Labor Government really needs to understand that extra cost pressures have major repercussions in communities like this,” Senator Nampijinpa Price concluded.
Senator Liddle said some of the evidence heard today was quite confronting.
“It's clear people are hurting from rising costs and the Labor Government has vacated the field,” said Senator Liddle.
Rowan Ramsey MP, Federal Member for Grey, welcomed the Committee’s visit to Port Augusta, having seen firsthand the struggles that people in his electorate are facing.
“When I speak to people in my electorate they tell me the cost of living is their number one issue. Housing, interest rates, electricity prices- all going the wrong way and they are wondering when the Albanese Government is going to start delivering on the promises they made at the election,” Mr Ramsey concluded.
The Coalition members of parliament called on Australians to share their stories of how the cost of living is impacting them by providing submissions to yourcostofliving.au.