Media Release: Cost-of-Living Community Consultation

Local News

Federal Member for Fairfax, Ted O’Brien, is launching a community consultation initiative to help formulate government policies for supporting Australians who are struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table. 

The outcome-focused initiative builds on the MP’s previous work which found that cost-of-living was the number one issue facing local constituents with 85% of households struggling.

Elected to the Federal Parliament in 2016, Mr O’Brien says that he has never seen the situation so bad on the Sunshine Coast.

“Over the past two years, food prices have shot up 10%, housing 12%, insurance 26% and electricity prices are up to 36% higher,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I know from the conversations I’m having with Sunshine Coast locals on a daily basis that they’re doing it tougher than ever, and I want their lived experience to help shape policy to tackle this cost-of-living crisis.”

Mr O’Brien will lead the cost-of-living community consultation to learn more about how the cost-of-living crisis is affecting locals, with the goal of forming action-oriented strategies to ease the pressure on residents.

“My cost-of-living community consultation will focus on outcomes to help Sunshine Coast residents. We all know there is a problem, and we need policies which will make a tangible difference to those who struggle to make ends meet,” Mr O’Brien said. 

“Cost-of-living is biting hard, and I will continue to do everything I can to ease the pressure on household budgets.” 

“We cannot underestimate the importance of public input because with the help of Sunshine Coast locals, as a community we’ve been successful in changing government policy before.”

“Due to input and advice from Sunshine Coast locals, we succeeded in reforming tax law when it came to Men’s Sheds, our community’s submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care informed reforms in that sector and some of the design features of JobKeeper was a direct consequence of me hearing from locals,”

“We must now work together to tackle cost-of-living.”

The Maroochydore Salvation Army has seen the crisis escalate first-hand, with a sharp increase in people reaching out for help.

Recognising the ever-increasing number of families in distress, the Salvos have since ramped up their service delivery and started a weekly soup kitchen to feed those who are struggling.

Major Bruce Ellicott from the Maroochydore Salvation Army said that the situation had deteriorated quickly and that the organisation’s services were in high demand.

 “Cost-of-living pressures are forcing more people to reach out for help.” Major Ellicott said.

 “We run a number of services to help the community, including our weekly soup kitchen, but we desperately need more assistance to help meet the ever-increasing demand.”

“More needs to be done to help those that are struggling.”

The Coalition has urged the Government to address the cost-of-living crisis and has proposed an alternative strategy to see Australia get back on track with a focus on reining in inflationary spending and delivering a back-to-basics economic plan. 

A preliminary survey, as part of the community consultation, is available now for Fairfax residents to complete and to have their say on what the government should be doing to address the cost-of-living crisis. 

Head to to get involved.


Media Contact: Ted O’Brien – Karsten Duvel, 0413 152 244

< Back to News

Stay in touch with Ted

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.