The Rising Cost of Living in Western Australia

The Rising Cost of Living in Western Australia Report

  • Author(s): Western Australian Council of Social Service Inc.,
  • Published: 2009
  • Publisher: Western Australian Council of Social Service Inc.

Abstract: The cost of living in Western Australia has been greatly influenced by fluctuating economic conditions over the past two years. This time last year, WA was nearing the end of a prolonged mining and resources boom, driving up the cost of goods and services far beyond the reach of low-income families in this State. Not long after global markets crashed in late 2008, the West Australian economy began to display the negative impacts of the economic downturn; rising unemployment, record property repossessions, and an increased demand on community services. In 2006-07, even before the effects of the economic downturn were being felt, 9750 people were turned away from community service organisations in WA. 81% of these people were eligible for the service, but were turned away due to the services operating at maximum capacity.1 As vulnerable members of our community bear the brunt of the economic downturn, community service agencies report that the number of people struggling to make ends meet is growing. Agencies on the ground have reported sharp increases in demand for their services, and this looks set to continue. The WA No Interest Loans Scheme (WA NILS), which provides assistance to low income households to purchase essential items, is processing applications at 3 times the rate they were in October/November 2008, increasing from approximately 50 per month to 150. Relationships Australia reports an increase in the number of people presenting with relationship difficulties, and attributes these difficulties to financial stress and unemployment. They have also noted an increase in the number of people requesting a fee waiver, whereby clients either pay a reduced amount, or are not charged for service. It is evident to see that the economic downturn is plunging many families into rapid and sustained hardship. Families that may otherwise have been able to avoid crisis are now faced with a number of immense challenges.

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Western Australian Council of Social Service Inc.,, 2009, The Rising Cost of Living in Western Australia, Report, viewed 16 August 2022,

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