Devastating: New survey reveals the most disadvantaged suburbs in Australia 299



View Profile
via SBS

A new damning report has shown the devastating disadvantage that continues to bleed in our suburbs, and just how little our Government is doing to help these people.

Jesuit Social Services and Catholic Social Services Australia’s report highlights the most disadvantaged suburbs and towns in Australia and why in an attempt to alleviate difficulties in these problem areas. They’ve found little has changed since 2008, when the last report was compiled.

Many of the same suburbs continue to feature in its list of the worst-affected postcodes, suggesting there is either nothing being done or what is being done is not working.

Shockingly, in NSW about one-quarter of prisoners come from about 3 per cent of postcodes.

Report author Professor Tony Vinson told the ABC that people in the most disadvantaged areas were not given “a fair go” and something needs to be done to break the cycle…now.

“I’ve been looking at communities for 40 years and some of the areas that were disadvantaged then are disadvantaged heavily now.

“I would think it would be an enormous breakthrough for this society if it could take one heavily disadvantaged area in each state and territory, work with the local people for say seven or eight years and if we turn those communities around that would be the first time,” he said about the misconception that a three-year government can change the fabric of a community in such a short time.

The results:

New South Wales

  • Brewarrina, Claymore, Lightning Ridge, Walgett, Wilcannia and Windale.

Australian Capital Territory

  • Fyshwick, Pialligo, Symonston, Charnwood, Dunlop, Florey, Flynn and Fraser.


  • Broadmeadows, Corio, Doveton, Frankston North, Maryborough and Morwell.


  • Aurukun, Doomadgee, Kowanyama, Mornington, Worrabinda and Yarrabah.

Western Australia

  • Those living in the most disadvantaged areas of WA are eight times more likely to have spent time in prison.
  • Derby-West Kimberley, Halls Creek, Meekatharra, Menzies, Mt Magnet, Ngaanyatjarraku and Wyndham-East Kimberley.

South Australia

  • Anangu Pitjantjatjara, Coober Pedy, Maralinga Tjarutja, Peterborough, Playford – Elizabeth and Whyalla.

Northern Territory

  • Disadvantage is more dispersed across the Northern Territory and not concentrated in certain areas like other states.
  • Tiwi Islands, MacDonnell, Barkly, Victoria-Daly, Central Desert, Roper Gulf and Belyuen.


  • Central Highlands, Southern Midlands, Brighton, George Town, Tasman, Derwent Valley and Glenorchy.

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. One has choices, either sit on your bum n receive handouts or go n get a job!!!!!

    5 REPLY
    • This comment shows you have no understanding of the problem. It is punishing children born on the wrong side of the fence. If you are a child born in a family where abuse is the norms, where no one works… How do you get out of the cycle? Do you get punished , or should some one show you there is a better way? I say, give people education and opportunities. …funny that!! The more you educate people the less likely there are to end up in jail. But we cut our budget for education…. Only to spend more on building jails. It costs over $100.000 per year for every persons in jail .That money would be far better spent on education and social services.

    • People can break the cycle… It happens all the time. My father didn’t go to high school but worked all his life to provide. I left school at 15 – worked until I was 65, most of my years were as a single parent – no maintenance payments – & I have had a very fortunate life. People must get up & do for themselves. I did.

    • Unfortunately today people who want a new house and family. Only want to start with all new items the best items and the biggest house
      We started modest at a spot we could afford and yes I stayed at home till my children were in late primary. For their security and well being

      1 REPLY
      • Agree Beverley, my daughter had a problem selling their home in Melbourne, 4 years old but ONLY 24 squares, beautifully finished but was told that it was hard to sell as it was a bit small ?????? I have lived in houses all my life 12 squares big, makes you wonder

    • The jobs also have to be there to be had.. Every job I go for they are saying they are getting something like 300 applicants for each job. There are not enough jobs out there either. So make a statement like Get a Job…is easier said than done. If they are looking for work then great help them, but if they do nothing then that is a different issue. Although after 1st July it will be harder for them to do nothing as they HAVE to go to the Job agencies appointed by Centrelink & have to have proof of job applications

    • ‘Get a job’ is easy to say (like Hockey did) for those in a ivory tower – except there are no jobs.We pay good mpney to such politicians to give and deliver solutions. He would not last in a commercial organisation six months (let alone a tenure of 3-4 years!)

  2. Doesn’t look like they lack in the food category.

    7 REPLY
    • That’s probably because they consume mainly junk food – cheap and fattening. One of the reasons why often their life is far shorter than that of people who can afford good nutritious food. All part of the vicious cycle.

      1 REPLY
      • Nutritional food is cheaper to buy than junk food. They are fat because they choose to be fat. I count four dogs in that photo. They are also well fed. A bag of carrots, spuds, onions and a few of the cheaper cuts of meat and you have a nutritional stew that costs a lot less than half a dozen big macs and fries with cokes. Do the maths if you don’t believe me. Of course the down side of that is someone has to cook the wash the dishes. Yep thats a big detterent to healthy food.

    • That man was a truck driver, he had to give up work due to heart problems, he then was diagnose with dementia, he can’t work again, his wife had to give up her job to be his carer and top it off they have 2 disabled children, one was born that way, the other young man was disabled in a car accident.. how easy it is to be mean and cruel about other peoples lives

  3. There are many who do not choose to be “labelled” disadvantaged, but there are many who make bad choices and don’t do anything to help themselves — the world does not you a living — do some courses, learn new skills and help yourself. it is a great feeling to be independent and work for your family and for yourself!!

    3 REPLY
    • I have done this all my life,worked hard,brought up for beautiful successful children,till Mental Illness struck…..Do not judge ,Majority dont want to be on benefits….$260 per week…come on now….explain how you live on that…and you are ill with a mental illness…..The Mental Health System has been broken for years ,so under resourced,and the wonderful Abbot cut funds even more ,even though,depression is in Epidemic proportions…….There are a lot of good people through no fault of their own,find themselves in this position!!!!!

  4. Why does the govt always have to ‘support’ everyone. What if there was no welfare system??

    14 REPLY
    • The government is the people, Pam Gillespie. People supporting other people, who often just need a bit of a hand for a short time. It’s called being a contributing member of society.

    • Hear hear Sue. I also think Politicians & Bankers cause most of the problems anyway with their waste & bad management of tax payers money.

    • It is amusing to see how many people think it is ok to have a ‘them and us’ mindset; Tony has done such a number on Australia.

    • That would be right and proper for a short time Sue Robinson, but not for parents to hand down that expectation of welfare to their children.

    • Because if we didn’t we would end up with poor wages, tips to be expected to makeup the shortfall & crime would increase. Just look at good Ol USA. Sometimes these people have such low self esteem they give up. When you continually go for jobs &I you are refused or even don’t get an interview then you think what the heck. Centrelink is soul destroying &I they don’t take into account what you would like to do & set goals to make it happen. You are just a number to them & the so called employment agencies.

    • Pam this would have to be one of the most callous and selfish comments I have seen to date and shows you don’t have any idea of the problems others can have. Obviously you are financially secure which is great for you but not everyone can and it is NOT because they have been incompetent.

      What about the people who no fault of their own have not enough money to survive & have to go for support. for instance:

      1. single parents with children & no support being paid by the father (just because it is awarded they have to get it out of them)
      2. widowed mother with children and no life insurance so no support
      3. seriously ill people and no wage insurance (too expensive) and cannot work
      4. cancer sufferers who cannot work and have gone through all their finances trying to stay alive
      5. self employed who could not put money away into super & find the business goes bust eventually
      6. working for an owner who goes bust & you find they have not paid your taxes or super so for that time nothing you earned has been added to your super & you cannot collect as they are bankrupt
      7. A huge proportion of our society work for very low wages not the average of $75K, I wish we had this. Most people I know work for about $40K less tax and have to survive and pay rents/mortgages/food etc and there is nothing left to provide for their future.
      8. older generation did not have superannuation and could be any of the above. Are you saying why should they ask for support?
      9. CSA – fathers of children where they have to pay child support for children when the mother earns more than they do and still have to pay a proportion of their GROSS to CSA, then pay tax on same gross and try and live on the rest. When I met my partner around 16yrs ago he had three kids and only earned $25K gross and by the time he paid child support to her (she earned double what he was earning but lied) he had nothing much left to live on much less provide for his old age. She in the meantime went overseas every couple of months while I helped to support him as he could not rent or survive without assistance. Lovely lovely man who has had knock after knock and still picks himself up & keeps going. Through all the shit he would be lucky to have $15000 in super so we will find ourselves having to ask for help.
      10. I started work at 16yrs old and worked hard ALL my life, not enough time to put money away in super to provide for the rest of my life, so I have no alternative. does not mean I have not paid for my share. Many of my age are in the same position.
      11. injuring yourself and having to go on workers comp. It takes time to get the money & it comes all over the place yet you still have to pay child support. When my partner hurt himself the Workers COmp company paid only 65% (of his $25K) and yet he still had to pay the full child support for his kids and we didn;t get the money regularly and it came 6wks, then 4wks etc so it was a nightmare. he couldnt work as he had to have his hip replaced and they took 2 yrs to decide oh alright then we will do it.

      I have worked hard since I was 16 and at least 7 of the above apply to my partner and myself and we have both paid LOTS of tax as we worked hard. Are you honestly saying that there should be no welfare system?

      I wonder if you would say that if you found that you didn’t have enough to live on and had to put up your hand for help…..OMFG Pam. Open your damned eyes and actually look at the struggles some people have. Does not mean they are incompetent or sit back & do nothing to help themselves. I know there are many other examples but too angry at the moment to think of them.

    • Margaret I was allotted by Centrelink to see JobFind & when I went they told me that they had lost the contract so they were actually looking for work themselves and did nothing but I still had to see them. Then the new agency FINALLY sent me notification of an appointment (last week), I went and they are just registering everyone at the moment and as they have no work on the books can’t help anyone as yet. So anything they MAY be able to do will be at least a couple of months. But hey if I am still on newstart after 6mths (God I hope not) they can then market me as the employer can get up to $10K for employing mature age workers.
      The consultants are supposed to go out to businesses and try to find some jobs then try & place people but there are so many people on the books they don’t actually get out to find work for the people on their books. Sooooo what are they actually doing other than putting you on their books and marking off your jobsearch plan? I have found this WHOLE process quite useless other than to get some money Centrelink or the Job networks do nothing for your really. I actually had an appointment to take my job search proof to them & the receptionist just stamped it, didn’t even get to speak to someone to find out what else I could do. it is a joke really. If they are that strapped for people then they have so many people looking for work they could increase the workforce to work it better. just a thought……..

    • There are always people who require help from other people. As a civilised society we need to help those who can not help themselves. This does not mean giving them money. It can mean providing people with less abilities with meaningful employment so that they can have a dignity. People who worked all of their lives and have paid taxes deserve to be paid a real pension. People who are sick need to be looked after. Children need to be looked after. Education, health and security is every Australians` right.

    • ‘should be everyone’s right here in Australia….there is not a professional in the Health System that does not agree that the Mental Health System is Broken and so under resourced….If you are suicidal,you basicly have to prove you deserve a bed in hospital…even when parents beg to keep their suicidal children in hospital because they know they will commit suicide if released…the hospital lets them go,and then that patient commits suicide……this happens time and time again….but noone hears about it ,because the goverment keeps it quiet because of stigma…..deaths have been on the increase…..Surely,Tony Abbot,real issues like these need addressing……not the continual beat up of terrorism….I know there is terrorism,but focus on more urgent issues like mental health!!!!!!

    • Hallo Shary, When I said health I include all legitimate health problems whether physical mental (Greek translation – Spiritual).

    • Yes I understand all that, people do need help but the welfare system is govts biggest outgoing and with less revenue coming in to govt these days the well is going to run dry. … Then what?

    • There is a lot that must be done to help a lot of people who are not in a position to help themselves because of circumstances beyond there control. But ad to this the people who can help themselves but don’t because the present system we have allows widespread rorting to take place at the cost of those that need help.

  5. There are many things they can do without involving paying more welfare, many of these areas are older housing commission areas.. brighten up the housing, get more counsellors involved , but the main things I think is bring in things that will entertain the kids in a healthy way like sporting fields. Create more jobs in these areas so the kids don’t leave school and are on the streets getting into trouble. If they can educate the children at young age it may turn things around

  6. abbott does not understand poverty

    2 REPLY
    • What has this kind of statement got to do with the debate? Whether the Prime Minister understands poverty or not does not impact on the problem in anyway. Maybe if we were all less negative and a lot more compassionate practical solutions could be found to assist the plight of these disadvantaged people.

  7. It has been done to death over the years….handouts over handouts. Education, welfare, and they are still the same. Every town has a line that separates the right side of town to the wrong side of town…..others will all ways be unemployable, some will never work, some will never dress appropriately, choices DO define us, it always has it always will. If you make a choice to change you will be seen different. It is not the Governments place to be responsible for peoples life choices….this is why the Government stopped giving to the remote communities. Your life is what YOU yourself make of it….you have the choices and you need to change……

    2 REPLY
    • What choice do you have if your parents are deadbits, your neighbours drug addicts and there is no responsible adult to show you a better way? How do you stop the cycle?. We do have a responsibility to do something for those children to give them the opportunity to make better choices for themselves…it costs a lot more to put someone in jail than educate …but our government turn its back on domestic violence, turn its back on education and social services… To then spend a fortune on jails and law and order!!it is always too easy to point the finger.

      1 REPLY
      • I came from the so called wrong part of town. People have eyes. I saw the down and outs, the Friday night drunks, beaten wives hungry kids. Fortunately we never went hungry. Mum was a good cook and dad kept a big garden. I saw what hard work could get you .I worked for a few months for junior wages then got a job as a laborer and earned adult wages ever since. I was driving a car before most adult males in my suburb. I got out of there and lived a better life. true it was harder. Always was in the bush, but that is where the money was and that is where I went. I bet these people haven’t got a garden with vegetables i it. Easier to cry poverty and get the dole.

    • Sorry bringing up jails is not the issues, we need jails and not everyone that commits grimes came from disadvantage families and what do we do with them if there were no jails, silly comparison. They are working side by side with Mrs Batty on domestic violence and have spent billions on program’s for just this subject. As for education and social services well I would love a $1 for every dollar that has been spent on these over the years, I would be a billionaire. Just because your parents are dead beats, and your neighbours are drug addicts does not mean you have to go down that track too, you pull yourself up by the boot scrapes and get a job and change the life style you live, it is easy….stop making excuses and break the cycle yourself and don’t expect anyone to do it for you… is too short in this country now we can not afford to keep handing out to people that WILL NOT make the changes for themselves.

  8. Many of the places listed are hardly ‘suburbs’. If you live in the middle of nowhere, you can hardly expect to have the same level of infrastructure as a city.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *