ONKAPARINGA

Call to boost welfare deal

ONKAPARINGA Council

will urge the Federal Government to boost welfare payments on behalf of more than 7000 unemployed residents.

The council voted to allow Mayor Lorraine Rosenberg to write to federal MPs Nicolle Flint, Rebekha Sharkie and Amanda Rishworth, alerting them to the “grave situation” facing people on Newstart who receive $267 a week.

About 12 members of the Anti-Poverty Network SA group, who were seated in the public gallery at last month’s council meeting, cheered the decision.

The group has been lobbying councils across the state to put pressure on the Federal Government to lift the Newstart allowance by up to $100 a week.

Anti-Poverty Network SA state co-ordinator Pas Forgione said this would help Newstart recipients to “eat well and look after their needs”.

“This is a federal issue but it impacts local communities in the south where a large number of people are out of work,” Mr Forgione said.

“This extra money would be spent in these communities – it’s not just a social justice issue, it’s an economic one.”

Ms Rosenberg said the council had an important role to play in advocating for the community.

“This is a really important issue considering how many people we have unemployed,” Ms Rosenberg said.

“Giving me the ability to write to federal members about the matter is a sensible and considered way of showing our advocacy.”

Four metropolitan councils and four regional council have so far agreed to support Anti-Poverty Network SA’s campaign.

This extra money would be spent in these communities
– it’s not just a social justice issue, it’s an economic one.
Pas Forgione