Child poverty crisis in Norlane, Wyndham Vale

August 31, 2023 8:53 am in by
Image: Jordan Whitt (Unsplash)

Almost one-in-three children in two local suburbs are living in poverty according to a confronting new report.

The Mapping Poverty in Victoria study, which was conducted on behalf of the Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS), found that while 17.6 per cent of Victorian children live below the poverty line, the number soars to 29.8 in Norlane.

The Wyndham suburb of Wyndham Vale is also worryingly high at 24.87 per cent.

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The data was compiled by economic modelling firm NATSEM on behalf of VCOSS, and focusses on children under the age of 15,

And while the information used to compile the report dates back to 2021 VCOSS said interest rates, and the cost of living, have risen substantially since then.

The report found that 800,000 Victorians are now living in poverty, and that the problem is at its worst in Melbourne’s outer north-western, western and south-eastern suburbs, and in regional areas including Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Shepparton.

Women are slightly more likely to live with severe disadvantage than men, while people with a disability are more than twice as likely as others to be living in a low-income household.

Shepparton had the highest rate of childhood poverty at 40.3 per cent, followed by Roxburgh Park/Somerton (37.3). Buloke (36.9) and Morwell (35.0).

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In household terms, the report found almost 70 per cent of single-parent homes in parts of Wyndham Vale exist below the poverty line.

VCOSS listed permanent increases in benefits, action on housing affordablity and the rising cost of living, and helping the disadvantaged move into employment as being among the key initiatives required to help solve the problem.

Childhood poverty by local municipality
Colac-Otway: 17.3%
Corangamite: 19.0%
Golden Plains: 8.9%
Greater Geelong: 15.6%
Moorabool: 15.5%
Queenscliffe: 10.1%
Surf Coast: 9.4%
Wyndham: 19.4%