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Government Must Support Tasmanians in Need Not Punish Them

25 October 2016

Ms O’Connor to move—That the House:—


(1) Notes with heavy hearts the recent Australian Council of Social Services' 'Poverty in Australia' report that states 13.3% of Australians live below the poverty line.


(2) Understands that 731,300 Australian children are assessed as living below the poverty line, which is 17.4%, a 2% increase since 2003/4.


(3) Further notes the comments of ACOSS chief executive, Cassandra Goldie, who called the national poverty figures a "national shame" and who laid the blame at the feet of Australia's political leaders.


(4) Recognises that to break ingrained poverty cycles we must break behavioural cycles, and that government policy settings and funding are critical to this goal.


(5) Further notes that while Tasmania already has much higher disadvantage than many mainland states, the Police Offences Act makes begging an offence.


(6) Understands that two individuals have been charged with the offence of begging in the last six months in Tasmania.


(7) Calls on the Government to support Tasmanians in need not punish them.