90 second statement – School Savvy Program
Mr PITT: The cost of living is the issue for the people that I represent. It is issue No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and all the way to 100. I want to bring to the attention of the House the School Savvy program, run by CatholicCare CQ. Nothing demonstrates more how difficult, how tough, it is for people out there right now than, firstly, the need for this program and, secondly, the overwhelming demand for it.
CatholicCare CQ’s School Savvy program provides affordable school supplies, second-hand school uniforms and free haircuts, would you believe, Madam Deputy Speaker, at pop-up shops during January. In Bundaberg Today, the local newspaper, on 16 January, Shari Jackson from CatholicCare said ‘the number of people who accessed the service was a reflection of the tough financial pressures that many families are facing’. She said:
‘In the first half of the week alone we had 1000 people—
a thousand people accessed this service in my local region. She said:
‘Budgets are stretched and lots of people are needing to find savings wherever they can.’
So I say to those opposite: this is the issue. There is no other issue. People cannot afford to pay their bills. The cost of electricity is not going down; taxpayer funded subsidies are going up. That is the difference. We need to see real change and we need to see it soon. The people I represent know that you will always—always—pay more under a Labor government.