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A powerful new alliance of Anglican, Catholic and Uniting Church community service organisations took the fight against poverty to the Federal Parliament today.

The Christian Community Services Against Poverty launched its pre-election campaign called Vote [1] No More Poverty.

“We are making use of our extensive networks to call on all Australians to take up the challenge and help us to make politicians and political candidates aware of this issue. As such, in the lead up to the next election we are asking all Australians to take the time to write to them or call them and ask…..”Do you care about poverty in Australia and what will you do to address it?”

“In the spirit of the letter to the Prime Minister and State and Territory leaders, signed late last year by the leaders of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith communities, we too call on all political leaders to halt the shameful divide between the haves and have-nots in this wonderful country.

“There are 3.6 million Australians living on a household income of under $400 a week and over 800,000 children living in a jobless household. We are faced daily by the despair that fills their young lives.

“Australia has the 4th highest rate of poverty in the industrialised world.

“We are witnesses to a clear failure to provide fair and adequate levels of full-time employment, education, health, and affordable housing for low-income families.

“We, that is all Australians, must CHOOSE to address poverty in this country and we believe that a National Forum must be held to develop a National Strategy to combat poverty in Australia.

“Only a national approach can solve a problem of national proportions. Co-operation, rather than buck-passing between political parties and Federal and State governments is the only way forward. It is crucial that such barriers must be overcome – crucial to the interests of those living in poverty.

“We cannot afford to be silent while the children of today grow up to become a permanent underclass. How can we as a nation live with the consequences of this?”