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He said more than 300,000 Queenslanders had either already taken out additional loans or withdrawn from an existing home loan or intended to.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