Our Federal Government is making a choice, and that choice is to to keep 120,000 Tasmanians living in poverty.
Solving entrenched Tasmanian issues such as poverty is not simple, but it is possible, and to do so we must prioritise addressing the barriers which reinforce it.
We know that poverty impacts on all aspects of life. Be it employment opportunities, physical, oral and mental health, and the ability to maintain relationships and social networks.
The barriers to accessing and maintaining employment in Tasmania should be an important consideration for all governments. Anglicare Australia’s Jobs Availability Snapshot 2019 demonstrates for an entry-level position (job level 5), in Tasmania for every one job there are 14 jobseekers.
If we don’t increase investment in training, in literacy and digital literacy, in transport models that break down the barriers to accessing employment, we will continue to see high levels of unemployment, low participation rates and growing numbers of Tasmanians left behind.
This Anti-Poverty Week, I urge you to give a voice to those living below the poverty line across Tasmania. It is their experiences, their moments of despair, their understanding of the systems that reinforce poverty, and most importantly their solutions which need to be front and centre.
For every entry-level position (job level 5) in Tasmania there are 14 jobseekers (Steam C; most likely to find it difficult to get a job) as of May 2019. Source: Anglicare Australia’s Jobs Availability Snapshot 2019.