The Uniting Communities financial counselling team regularly sees clients who are spending two thirds of their income on rent plus utilities, so most of their income is spent on level one of Maslow’s needs hierarchy, meeting the most basic needs of shelter.
During 2017, Uniting Communities received funding through the Consumer Advocacy Research Fund (CARF) to consider water affordability for tenants. A key finding was that over 100,000 people struggle to pay their water bills in South Australia.
Our experience as a large service provider in South Australia leads to the conclusion that reducing the costs of utility bills is a Priority for uniting Communities; this is what drives our interest in utility regulation.
This submission was quite influential through discussion and other advocacy as summarised in this brief submission.