De­mand on Salvos hits ma­jor high

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Alexis Gill­ham alexis. gill­ham@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

T OWNSVILLE S a l v a t i o n Army stores are strug­gling to keep up with the de­mand caused by the re­cent Queens­land dis­as­ters.

Townsville Salvos Stores a r e a ma n a g e r B r o n wy n Vi­nen said an ‘‘ in­un­da­tion’’ of peo­ple had headed to the lo­cal char­ity stores want­ing t o b uy house­hold i t e ms cheaply fol­low­ing the costs of disas­ter re­cov­ery.

She said the sit­u­a­tion had been made worse be­cause the Salvos had been called on to sup­ply the worst-hit ar­eas in North Queens­land fol­low­ing Cy­clone Yasi cre­at­ing a short­age in do­na­tions.

‘‘ We’re very busy and look­ing for sup­port with do­na­tions of fur­ni­ture and cloth­ing,’’ she said. ‘‘ A lot has gone out of Townsville to other re­gions like Tully and Card­well.’’

Sun­corp Life Ex­ec­u­tive g e n e r a l ma n a g e r D a v i d Carter said the Salvos’ sit­u­a­tion was com­mon around Queens­land with peo­ple not o nl y t r y i ng t o f i nd t he cheap­est way to fund their disas­ter re­cov­ery but also want­ing to hold on to fur­ni­ture they can’t af­ford to re­place.

He said the re­sults of a r e c e n t Newspo l l s u r v e y showed the nat­u­ral dis­as­ters of re­cent months had caused Queens­lan­ders to make sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial changes.

‘‘ An es­ti­mated 95 per cent of Queens­land has been disas­ter de­clared and thou­sands of peo­ple have ex­pe­ri­enced first­hand just how un­pre­dictable Mother Na­ture can be and the dam­age she can cause,’’ Mr Carter said.

‘‘ It’s been an in­cred­i­bly stress­ful pe­riod for many and the sur­vey found more than 750,000 Queens­lan­ders rated hav­ing their house and be­long­ings de­stroyed in a n a t u r a l d i s a s t e r m o r e stress­ful than per­son­ally ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a se­ri­ous ill­ness or in­jury, los­ing your job or get­ting di­vorced.’’

‘‘ The sur­vey sug­gested 1.4 mil­lion Queens­lan­ders had ei­ther al­ready or in­tended to start sav­ing more as the re­sult of a nat­u­ral disas­ter.’’

Mr Carter said the sur­vey also showed some Queens­lan­ders’ bud­gets had been stretched by re­cent events and in some cases could be liv­ing be­yond their means.

He said more than 300,000 Queens­lan­ders had ei­ther al­ready taken out ad­di­tional loans or with­drawn from an ex­ist­ing home loan or in­tended to.

‘‘ Al­most 500,000 said they had al­ready or in­tended to a c c e s s t h e i r s u p e r a n n u - ation,’’ he said.

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