Tackle poverty

INNER West Council will lead a new grassroots initiative to assess the impact of poverty on local communities across NSW.

Mayor push for solutions at local level

The council will work with organisations, such as the Exodus Foundation, Summer Hill Community Centre, Rozelle Neighbourhood Centre, Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, the Gift of Bread and Addison Road Community Centre, to identify how many Inner West people are living in poverty and develop local solutions with State and Federal government help.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne, who proposed the new campaign, will reach out to councils across NSW to gauge their interest in collaborating with Inner West Council to better understand the local impacts of poverty and also write to mayors across the State seeking their support to undertake the same audit in their own communities.

“After 28 years of uninterrupted economic growth in our nation, the poverty rate has remained stubbornly high and economic inequality has increased,” Mayor Byrne said.

“Australia is among the wealthiest nations on earth and yet one in five children and one in seven adults are still living in poverty.”

Mayor Byrne said while gentrification had resulted in the Inner West becoming much more affluent, there was still a very significant proportion of our community living in poverty.

“And while poverty is a national challenge, the human impacts are felt in our local communities,” he said

“The local kids going to school hungry and the neighbours down the street who are being priced out by rent increases, are the local faces of poverty.

“Poverty is an issue that affects local communities across Australia.

“A majority of Australians want to do something about this, and we know that specific policy measures can address the causes of poverty. We want find new local solutions to disadvantage.”

The council will also seek cooperation from State and Federal governments to implement local solutions to any identified issues and work with stakeholders to develop a tool kit to allow local communities to identify and find a solution to poverty in their area.