The Northern Rivers Echo reports on the facts of life for many North Coast residents.
On housing affordability and homelessness:
On Lismore Neighbourhood Centre foodbank:
The situation in the Lismore area is mirrored up and down the coast in varying degree. No work or too few part-time hours of work, inadequate pensions or benefits, high rents, rising food and transport costs make life hard for many.
From Coffs to the Tweed this morning many breakfast tables have little or no food on them.
It is so very easy for politicians cushioned by their parliamentary pay packets, political commentators safe in their media towers and working professionals with steady incomes to underestimate the level of quiet desperation that exists on the NSW North Coast.
Whenever these groups get an inkling they usually call for debate, investigation or their own re-election.
But economic dynamics and social disadvantage have been studied and talkfested to death. What is needed is practical response.
When John Howard became Prime Minister the North Coast socio-economic profile was similar to what it is today, yet under Howard and despite national growth the divide between rich and poor in this country has widened and our region still suffers structural inequality.
Being poor on the North Coast is both personal and political.
Use your vote wisely.