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By 2030, ‘no Australian child will be living in poverty’ – why can’t we promise that?

Wendy Stone and colleagues write in The Conversation (7.9.16) about the problems of income inequality and housing unavailability, factors that contribute to child poverty in many parts of Australia.

‘Following revelations that more than 300,000 children are living in poverty, the New Zealand government has announced the creation of a ministry for vulnerable children. This should cause Australian leaders to pause and think – how many vulnerable children live in poverty here? And should we be doing something about it?

‘Everyone remembers Bob Hawke’s promise that: “By 1990, no Australian child will be living in poverty”.

‘Even though Hawke later regretted it, the prime minister’s 1987 statement was powerful and valuable. It sparked debate and told Australians, and the world, that child poverty was not acceptable and that we were going to try to fix it. It pinned a flag to the flagpole.

‘Despite the controversy Hawke’s comments caused, in 2016 Australia has no flag and no flagpole. The issue of child poverty is not widely acknowledged. So is New Zealand showing us the way?’

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