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The Eurobodalla leads for all the WRONG reasons

The Beagle Editor, I’ve been reading a profile on Southern NSW, prepared by the NSW Government, that starkly presents a very dark picture of Eurobodalla, which we urgently need to change.

Eurobodalla features in almost all indicators of poverty or need in Southern NSW - we have:

Children

· the highest proportion of vulnerable 0-5 year olds;

· highest number of children reported as being at risk of significant harm (ROSH)

· the second highest number of children in Out Of Home Care(OOHC).

· highest number of children developmentally vulnerable in at least one way;

Families

· The highest unemployment rate in Southern NSW of 7.1%

· Lowest Average family Weekly Earnings;

· highest number of low income households;

Crime

· Highest number of reports of Domestic Violence

· second highest arrests for cannabis use

· second highest arrests for meth use

Apart from the personal costs of those directly affected by these statistics, all of us suffer when we have this level of need. It affects our prosperity, our feelings of safety, and our amenity in the Shire.

So what do we do? We have some community members who are aiming to make a difference. We have community agencies working in many ways to address these issues. We have dedicated public servants who confront these issues daily and do what they can with the resources they have to reduce these statistics.

Local Government has central role to play to counter these very dark figures. It can:

· sponsor services;

· provide facilities and expertise to other agencies which are working on these issues;

· make sure there are robust and current statistics to measure what is happening in the Shire; and

· importantly, lobby the other levels of Government to ensure that funds and services are provided to this area, to change these appalling statistics

Council is already involved in this way, but clearly more needs to be done, and we will have the chance in September to vote for a Progressive Council which makes reversing these statistics central to its role.

We have lots of work to do...

Background:

The information is publicly available at:

https://www.facs.nsw.gov.au/providers/children-families/early-intervention/TEI-program?merge_chapters=true

Statistics from:

Targeted Earlier Intervention Program

Illawarra Shoalhaven and Southern NSW District

Southern NSW District Local Priorities

(Department of Communities and Justice: November 2019)

There are no page numbers -reference is by section and paragraph.

Section2. Children, families and communities experiencing systemic disadvantage and challenges

Para1

In Southern NSW, 37.0% of children aged 0-5 were identified as vulnerable. Eurobodalla had the largest proportion of vulnerable 0-5-year olds, at 41.0%. This was followed by Goulburn Mulwaree at 39.0% and Bega Valley at 35.0%.

Para 3

In Southern NSW, 16.0% of children under 15 were affected by mental illness. Eurobodalla had the largest proportion of children under 15 affected by mental illness, at 19.0%. This was followed by Bega Valley, at 18.0%, and Snowy Monaro Regional and Yass Valley, both at 16.0%. 8

Para 6

In Southern NSW, 2,729 children were reported at ROSH in 2016-17.

Eurobodalla had the largest number of children reported at ROSH, at 547. This was followed by Goulburn Mulwaree, at 518. [1]

Para 7

In Southern NSW, 455 children were in OOHC as of 30 June 2017. Goulburn Mulwaree had the largest number of children in OOHC, at 117. This was followed by Eurobodalla, at 86.

Section 2 -Education, Employment and Income

Para3

The unemployment rate in Southern NSW is 5.2%. Eurobodalla had the highest proportion of people who were unemployed at 7.1%, followed by Goulburn Mulwaree at 6.3 %

Para 4

In Southern NSW, the average family weekly income was $1,645. This is less than the NSW average of $1,780. Eurobodalla has the lowest average family weekly income, at $1,184. This was followed by Bega Valley at $1,242.

Para 5

In Southern NSW, Eurobodalla and Bega Valley had the highest proportions of low-income households. In Eurobodalla, 29.4% of households had less than $650 a week in income. This was followed by Bega Valley, at 29.1%. This is much higher than the NSW average of 19.7%

Section 2 Domestic Violence

In Southern NSW, 622 domestic violence-related assaults occurred between January and December 2018. Domestic violence-related assaults were most likely to occur in the Eurobodalla LGA, with a rate of 464.8 per 100,000 people. [1]

Section 2 Substance Misuse

Para1

In Southern NSW, drug offences related to cannabis possession or use were most common. Yass Valley had the highest rate of cannabis-related offences, at 483.9 per 100,000 of the population. This was followed by Eurobodalla at 372.9 per 100,000 of the population.

Para 2

Drug offences related to amphetamine possession or use were the next most common in the Southern NSW District. Goulburn Mulwaree had the highest rate of amphetamine-related offences, at 193.1 per 100,000 of the population. This was followed by Eurobodalla at 86.7 of the population.

Section 4. Supporting children and young people to reach developmental milestones and manage life transitions

Para 1

In Southern NSW, 9.2% of children were developmentally vulnerable on two or more AEDC domains. Yass Valley had the highest proportion of children developmentally vulnerable on two or more domains, at 12.1%. This was followed by Eurobodalla at 11.4% and Bega Valley at 10.3%

Para2

In Southern NSW, 20.1% of children were developmentally vulnerable on one or more domain. Eurobodalla had the highest proportion of children developmentally vulnerable on one or more domain, at 23.1%. This was followed by Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional at 22.3% and Yass Valley at 21.0%. David Grace


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