Rising temperatures affecting rural people

Thursday, 7 March 2024
Air conditioner installer working on an air conditioner external unit

The Alliance’s Chief Executive Susi Tegan spoke to the ABC about the current heatwaves experienced in many parts of rural Australia and highlighted that low-income families find it hard to cool their homes with rising energy costs, leading to adverse health outcomes.

“When you're only earning $100 a week or are on very low income, any increase in electricity fees has a major impact,” she said.

She added that governments need to consider how poorly built social housing was becoming a public health issue.

Ms Tegen said rural populations are continuously affected by natural disasters and that governments need to put effective strategies in place to safeguard them.

"It's particularly important for rural, remote and regional people for this to be addressed, because those people already have to deal with the impact of droughts, floods and fires more than any other Australian, because they're dealing with it regularly."

According to a new report by the Australian Council of Social Services, a survey of 1,007 people found 60 per cent having trouble paying their energy bills, and 80 per cent said high temperatures in their home had made them unwell.

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