I also have experience that those who would be our political masters don’t show a lot of interest in the issue. During the election campaign I sent the following to my Coalition, Labor and Greens candidates:
‘The ABS just released a report (4130.0) on housing occupancy and costs. One salient point is costs for private renter households increased by 8 per cent in 2011-12 (I think COL rose by about 2.6 per cent). The report also indicates that lower income private renters pay $295 per week or 30 per cent of their income.
‘I am forced to live on Newstart Allowance which, including rental assistance, totals $676.10 per fortnight. My home of nearly 13 years is a one-room flat which costs me $400 per fortnight. That’s 59.16 per cent. The Poverty Line is supposed to be at the 30 per cent level.
‘You will note that that leaves me $276.10 per fortnight to pay my power, phone and internet bills after which I can concentrate on some minor luxuries like food.
‘Obviously, I am not average.
‘Please also note that I am what is called a floating voter and as yet undecided. This issue above is obviously important to me. What is your party going to do about this issue should you be elected?”
What response did I get? Let’s just say it was what I expected.