23 August 2023

New ad campaign to ensure Canberrans don't miss out on cost of living support

| Ian Bushnell
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Andrew Barr with budget papers

Chief Minister Andrew Barr with budget papers, which included new and expanded supports. Photo: Claire Fenwicke.

A new advertising campaign will alert Canberrans to the range of government financial assistance available to them to ease rising cost of living pressures.

The $200,000 campaign will highlight targeted ACT Government programs.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said these included help with everyday costs including bills, health care and transport, as well as sustainable home upgrades and support to rent or buy a home.

He said the campaign aimed to increase awareness of ACT Government and Commonwealth assistance programs, rebates, and services to ensure more Canberrans were accessing support.

“The concessions environment was complex,” Mr Barr said. “There are multiple government directorates responsible for delivering support, therefore a unifying communication approach aims to help remove confusion for Canberrans.

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“The campaign will inform eligible Canberrans about ACT Government concessions, services and supports available and how to access them.”

Canberrans are urged to visit the updated cost of living support website, which serves as a one-stop shop for information.

The campaign will also include eKits for community organisations to share targeted information about the government’s cost-of-living support with their clients and the broader community.

New and expanded measures set out in the 2023-24 ACT Budget to provide further cost of living relief to Canberrans include the expansion of the Utilities Concession eligibility criteria to include 12,000 more households; a one-off increase of $50 to the Utilities Concession, raising the amount from $750 to $800 in 2023-24; and targeted assistance paying bills and free healthcare at nurse-led walk-in centres.

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“The ACT’s nation-leading action on climate change – including our transition to 100 per cent renewable electricity – continues to translate to lower energy bills. Across the border in New South Wales, the average household electricity costs are expected to be $747 a year higher than in the ACT this current financial year,” Mr Barr pointed out.

The campaign will run until the end of the financial year. Initially, ads will run in local media and messaging will also appear on utilities bills and rates notices, as well as other ACT Government channels.

More information about the ACT Government’s cost of living support is available on the website.

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The old “No child would live in poverty by 1990” trick

2024 Election preparation. Good news stories needed.

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