EDITORIAL: We can all make a difference, volunteer today

OUR SAY: Volunteers at charities such as the Salvation Army see first-hand the struggles faced on the Fraser Coast.

People like departing Majors Lyn and Keith Cook are often faced with trying to help people in truly awful situations, when there is no one else who will reach out.

There must be countless people in the region who know them, and their fellow volunteers, as a friendly face to turn to when times are tough.

They will be missed by the whole community - but the parting advice from Mrs Cook could not be more clear.

Housing is certainly cheaper on the Fraser Coast than in many other areas, but when people are out of work and stony broke, there are still too few options.

The problem is creating genuine hardship for local families.

The Federal Government could help out in a number of ways - increasing rent assistance, improving public housing or even changes to tax incentives and stamp duty.

Some councils in other areas have also had success with asking private developers to provide a certain amount of affordable housing as a part of approval conditions.

But these are all longer term solutions, and even if the changes were made in legislation tomorrow, we would not see results for years.

If you want to make a difference today, think about volunteering, whether it's with the Salvation Army or another local charity.



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