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Thursday, 25 July 2019
Page: 1034


Mr JOYCE (New England) (13:45): This winter is going to be the decisive factor on what is happening with the drought. There is no doubt that people are getting to the ends of their bank overdrafts. The banks are going to lose patience. If they don't get a crop in, if they don't get fats ready for market, this will be dire. One of the aspects of what's happening, of course, is that farm workers, people who work on farms, have been put out of work because farmers just don't have the money. We don't want these people to leave our district. We want them to stay. We also want these people, as they lose their jobs—not by reason of being lazy but there not being the capacity to pay for them—to be treated with some respect, and we have to acknowledge the circumstances they are placed in.

People who are poor have poor electrical appliances, which are always dearer. They have a bad car, which is always dearer. I want to read you something about the two major household statuses of clients in my electorate: of members who are single, 48 per cent are on, I think, Newstart; 27 per cent are sole parents. We've got 2,549 people that are being assisted by St Vincent de Paul in New England. Of those that they assist, they believe that 18 per cent are paying more than 50 per cent of their incomes on rent and 16 per cent are classified as homeless—people who live on the street. I think we have to have a lot of empathy for them.