Archive for the 'The Fun Stuff' Category

Qualifications and employment

  • 50.7% of South Australians have post-school qualifications (such as a University degree or a TAFE certificate) compared to the Australian average of 53.9%
  • In April 2009, the unemployment rate in South Australia was 5.8%,  compared to the national average of 5.4%

Mental health

  • One in five Australians will experience a mental health problem during their lifetime.
  • 50% of mental health patients remain in hospital because they have no suitable place to go after being discharged.

Life expectancy gap

  • The life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is 17 years less than for other South Australians.

Price of Crime

  • It costs each South Australian taxpayer $185 per day to accommodate each prisoner in our prison system. This equates to $67,525 per prisoner, per year.
  • In 2005 crime cost Australia $36 billion – 4.1% of our gross domestic product (GDP).


  • 21.6% of South Australians receive 90% or more of their main source of income from government cash benefits.
  • In 2005/06, South Australia’s expenditure on “core” concessions (such as energy, public transport, water and vehicle registration) was $89 million.

What is ‘the economy’?

Economics is the theory of production and distribution of wealth. The economy is the practical science of the production, administration and distribution of wealth. When we talk about economic growth, we are referring to the increase in the production of wealth in Australia. For example the mining boom in South Australia will result in more money being generated in our state by digging uranium out of the ground and selling it. Once this money is generated it is distributed to things like wages, taxes and profits, this money is then spent by employees, governments and shareholders. The economy is influenced by many things including interest rates, government policy, regulation and competition.

What is poverty?

Poverty is to not have enough of something; often we refer to poverty as not having enough money to afford the basics in life for example somewhere to live, food and clothes. However people can also have poverty of opportunity, in other words they may not have enough control or choice on how they live. For example a person with a physical disability who needs assistance with getting on a bus may not have any choice or control regarding how and when they can travel. This then impacts significantly on whether they can get a job, or even go to the movies.

Poverty and how to define and measure it is a hotly debated topic, and there are many different approaches. The four key approaches are as follows:

Low income — Measures the income of a household, but does not include any assets or other wealth the household might have.

Low Capabilities — This is about the resources and power a person might have.

Social Exclusion — This focuses on barriers that people might face to participating in the community, this can include thing like health issues, discrimination and access to transport.

Material deprivation — In direct relation to the low income approach this focuses on the amount of money a household spends.

An entire chapter of the Blueprint for the eradication of poverty is devoted to the concept of measuring poverty, and can be found on the SACOSS website,

Create a Better State is all about South Australia and you. It's about the things that underpin the social fabric of our state and how you can make a difference when the State election rolls around in March 2010. We're not party-political and we're not going to tell you how to vote...we just ask you to do it thoughtfully. And on this website there are some tools and tips to help you do that.

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