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Vote 1 no poverty.

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Press Release


12 JULY 2004

Following the launch of the “Vote 1: no more poverty campaign” at Parliament House in Canberra last week, Wayne Swan Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services will visiting the electorate of Calwell to discuss poverty and related issues.

A public forum will be held in Broadmeadows on the 12th of July, hosted by Maria Vamvakinou, Federal Member for Calwell. Wayne Swan will be the special guest.

“The unequal distribution of wealth is the most important moral issue and the most important challenge in this upcoming election" Maria Vamvakinou said.

“It is a national tragedy that despite Australia’s wealth, we have the 4th highest level of poverty in the developed world. It is a shameful that 3.6 million Australians are living on a household income of under $400 a week and that over 800,000 children live in jobless households. The lives of these children and their families is one of despair. They deserve better.

“For too long, the Howard government has ignored these startling facts. He has ignored the critical education, employment, housing and health concerns of low-income Australians. Eradicating poverty in Australia is not some pipe-dream. A dedicated and comprehensive national campaign can have an enormous positive impact on the lives of millions of Australians. To turn a blind eye to poverty and its associated issues, is to condemn the children of today to life in an underclass.”

“I congratulate the church and community groups for launching this critical campaign, and the tremendous, invaluable work they do with struggling families in the community. I look forward to working with these groups to improve the lives of the 800,000 children living in poverty,” Maria said.

The aim of the campaign, launched by Christian Community Services Against Poverty, is to highlight the unequal distribution of wealth in Australia and to call on the Federal Government to commit itself to a national plan of action for the eradication of poverty in Australia.

In a show of support for this critical campaign, local MP Maria Vamvakinou stood up in Parliament during question time wearing a “Vote 1: No More Poverty” campaign t-shirt, to highlight the issue of poverty to every single federal politician.

For further details on the Public Forum on Poverty with Wayne Swan, please contact the Office of Maria Vamvakinou MP