22 March 2022
TasCOSS laud the Tasmanian Government’s decision to make public transport free for five weeks and provide relief to community service organisations at the bowser, yet warn such temporary initiatives must be accompanied by a long-term strategy to reduce the cost of living pressures facing Tasmanians families.
TasCOSS CEO Ms Adrienne Picone said the exorbitant increase in the price of petrol has been a cruel blow to Tasmanians living on low incomes, in particular on those living in the rural and remote parts of our state where public transport options are limited.
“Free public transport for five weeks will undoubtably assist Tasmanians with commuting costs and provides an alternative to taking the car, however we know for many Tasmanians living in under-serviced areas public transport is simply not a viable option,” said Ms Picone.
“Not-for-profit community services organisations have also been feeling the pinch at the bowser, so assistance in the form of one-off grants up to $2,000 will provide much-needed relief and enable our industry to continue to deliver outreach services and care to clients across our state.
“The services the community services industry provides to Tasmanians have never been more essential and this $100,000 relief package is welcome news as a temporary measure to assist in continued service provision to those in need.”
Ms Picone said while these temporary measure were welcome, a long-term solution to reducing the cost of living in Tasmania was also needed.
“Affording the essentials has become increasingly more difficult over the past year, with the cost of housing, health, transport, education and recreational activities, all rising by more than general wage increases,” she said.
“The rate of JobSeeker and Commonwealth Rent Assistance is meagre and trapping Tasmanians in a cost of living death spiral.
“The Federal Government could step in by providing a meaningful boost to the rate of income support to lift Tasmanians out of poverty and enable them to cover the essentials.”
For more information or to arrange an interview with TasCOSS CEO Adrienne Picone, please contact:
- Cameron Allen, 0419 769 253 or via email.