Issues & Insights


Poverty and hardship

Poverty is growing in Australia, with an estimated 2.9 million people, or 13.3% of all people living below the internationally accepted poverty line. 

Utilities industry research tells us that 10% of people are currently in serious financial hardship and are unable to pay their bills.

Hardship is not just an issue for long-term welfare recipients, as is often the perception – it affects people from all walks of life. Right now, millions of Australians are only a lost job, relationship breakdown or medical emergency away from falling into serious financial distress. The reality is, we are all at risk and vulnerable to hardship.

Here you will find a range of resources outlining how we are working to support customers in hardship.

Members are encouraged to generate and contribute to discussions – the more we share together, the more we learn together – and to participate in building the knowledge base by offering to feature resources. If you would like to feature a resource on this topic you can reach us via email at

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