CALL NOW 0403 595 093



Morwell Neighbourhood House manager Tracie Lund said the rising costs were causing a great amount of stress.

Cost of living ‘tougher in regional Victoria’ as demand for services spikes

August 23, 2022

ABC Central Victoria / By Kimberley PriceJames Findlay, and Amber Irving-Guthrie

Tue 26 Apr 2022

Food and housing relief agencies say regional Victorians are worse-off than their metro counterparts as the cost of living rises.

Key points:

  • 45 per cent of Vote Compass respondents say they are more concerned about making ends meet compared to a year ago
  • FoodShare says 17 per cent of central Victorians reached out for help at some point over the past year
  • Community services say their workloads are increasing

With more young people seeking support and huge increases in demand for grocery assistance, agencies fear the problem was only getting worse.

The Kangaroo Flat Uniting Church reported a 40 per cent increase in people needing assistance and were paying people’s bills, including dentistry fees.

Bendigo FoodShare manager Bridget Bentley said it was struggling to keep up with demand.

“Last year, we estimated that we supported 30,000 people with food relief across central Victoria,” she said.

“That’s about 17 per cent of the population that reached out for help at some point over the last 12 months.

“Our agencies are saying that they need more food.

“One agency recently said towards the end of last year they had about 30 households coming in every week. Now they’re up to 50 households every week, and that number continues to rise.”

The statistics

Data collected from the ABCs Vote Compass platform revealed nearly half of the 85,000 surveyed Australians were worried about how they are going to pay the bills.

According to the survey, more than a quarter of respondents were somewhat worried about making ends meet than they were last year, while another 19 per cent were much more worried.

The 2021 FoodBank annual Hunger Report found that one in six adults did not have enough food to eat, and one in five children went hungry at some point.

Ms Bentley said these statistics were mirrored across Central Victoria and other parts of the state.

“If we look at the statistics across regional Victoria compared to metro. While things are tough in Melbourne, they’re tougher in regional Victoria,” she said

Many can’t see a way out

Morwell Neighbourhood House manager Tracie Lund said the rising costs were causing a great amount of stress.

A picture of Morwell Neighbourhood house manager Tracie Lund
Tracie Lund says many people are worried about the continuing rise of basic necessities.(Supplied: Morwell Neighbourhood House)

“When we speak to people very few are seeing a way out of their current circumstances, they’re actually feeling like it is going to get worse,” she said.

“If you look at what we’ve experienced over the last two years, many people who maybe thought they were secure in their workplace have found themselves suddenly in insecure work and unable to supply the basic necessities.

“Then you’ve seen the ever increasing cost of those basic necessities — housing, food, and groceries.”

Ms Lund said while it was great to see people reaching out for help when they needed it, the budgets of support agencies were being stretched to meet the demand.

“You’ve got a more or a greater expanding pool of people joining this club and I think that is really significant,” she said.

“We’ve seen that rise over the last few years. But you can see that it is still heading up and not down.

“I’m not sure what the solution is.”

Keep Up To Date With Tracie

Stay up to date with the latest news, products and more

Follow Tracie Online