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The cost of living in Western Australia is having a crushing effect on families trying to make ends meet and it is placing greater pressure on community services organisations which are already in crisis.

The Western Australian Council of Social Service’ (WACOSS) 2019 Cost of Living Report released today, details the level of hardship Western Australians face amid increasing utility bills, rent and food prices.

Richmond Wellbeing Chief Executive Officer Adrian Munro says the level of hardship in the Western Australian community is placing incredible pressure on non-government social service providers which are already at breaking point.

“The cost of living is rising every year and the community services sector does not have the funds to meet the current level of demand for our services which includes helping families living in poverty and people experiencing homelessness, dealing with mental health issues and addiction, victims of domestic violence, elderly people and those with disabilities,” Mr Munro said.

“We are a prosperous state and while the State Government is spending billions on new roads and public transport, hundreds of thousands of Western Australians are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table.

“The McGowan Government needs to be more empathic and support vulnerable people in our community by increasing State funding to the community services sector by 20 per cent.
“We are not asking for a blank cheque, simply for funding to address the significant shortfall in sustainable funding to keep the doors of charities open. The increase in funding is desperately needed and the lives of Western Australians are at stake,” Mr Munro said.

More than 450 community services organisations jointly launched the #YourHelpWA campaign which encourages all Western Australians to show their support for increased funding for the community services sector by clicking on www.YourHelpWA.com.au and signing the petition and sending a letter to their local member of parliament.

Community Employers WA, Executive Director, John Bouffler says Premier Mark McGowan and Treasurer Ben Wyatt have failed to acknowledge the full extent of need in the Western Australian community.

“There have been some recent welcome announcements by the State Government on social housing and homelessness but this is a much bigger crisis and the Premier and Treasurer need to recognise and adequately respond to what is happening on the ground in Western Australia and the types of issues that community service providers face every day,” Mr Bouffler said.

“They have a chance to join the ranks of inspirational and successful leaders by demonstrating true empathy and fighting to support those people who don’t have a voice in our community by properly funding social services in WA.
“This is not a flash in the pan campaign, the entire sector is prepared to take this issue to the next election and put our support behind benevolent and compassionate candidates who will put people first,” he said.

For more information about the campaign visit www.YourHelpWA.com.au and follow, like and share content on the @YourHelpWA Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

#YOURHELPWA FAST FACTS

HOMELESSNESS
More than 9,000 Western Australians, including 3000 children and young people, don’t have a place to call home.

DOM. VIOLENCE
Family and domestic violence affect one in every four women in Australia.

FAMILIES
240,000 Western Australians are living below the poverty line and many of them are children.

CHILDREN
Each week more than 20 000 WA children go to school hungry because they didn’t have breakfast.

LIVING COST
19,740 households had their power cut off in the last year because they could not afford to pay the bill.

EMPLOYMENT
WA’s community services organisations employ more than 96,000 full and part-time staff, that’s 7.0 per cent of the State’s workforce.

WA’s youth (15 – 24 years) unemployment rate of 14.5% is the highest in 20 years, according to the Department of Training and Workforce Development.

DISABILITY
One in five Western Australians have some form of disability.

Media Contacts

SIMON BAILEY
Counsel Communications
Simon@counselcomms.com.au
M: 0400 248 880

JOHN BOUFFLER
CEWA
cewa@UnitingCareWest.org.au
M: 0429 113 500

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