Queensland Governor Quentin Bryce launched a Queensland Council for Social Service (QCOSS) report during anti-poverty week at St Mary’s Catholic Church in South Brisbane.
The report, undertaken by the University of Queensland Social Research Centre, examines the extent of income poverty in Queensland and looks at the impacts of poverty on particular groups in the community.
QCOSS President Karyn Walsh said that poverty is not something that should be up to individuals to solve and that there needs to be a community response to help solve poverty. “We need to link people’s social needs with economic participation in the community,” she said.
“The report also reveals key locations around the state that are also affected by poverty. Five Federal electorates in Queensland are experiencing very high rates of poverty. These include Wide Bay, Hinkler including Bundaberg and Gladstone, Maranoa in the far southwest, Capricornia including Rockhampton and Longman covering Caboolture.”
Moderator Rev Dr David Pitman spoke on the church’s responsibility to assist people in need and the commitment the Uniting Church made in 1977 to respond to such needs.
“Anti-Poverty Week is an important time for the Church, and our service agencies, to stand in solidarity with people who are experiencing poverty; who are marginalised or dislocated; who are living on the fringes of our society,” said Dr Pitman.
“It is also important that we use this week to ask questions of our leaders and questions of ourselves. The symbolism of Anti-Poverty Week is important, but it is also important that our reflections motivate an agenda for change.”
UnitingCare director Anne Cross chaired the proceedings.
Photo : Moderator Rev Dr David Pitman speaking at the launch of the QCOSS Poverty in Queensland report