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Supply-chain pressures, freight costs and fuel prices are driving up the cost of living in regional Australia (Bigstock)

The cost-of-living crisis is impacting millions of people across the country, but it is often residents in regional and remote Australia who are bearing the brunt of the economic pain. Source: ABC News.

Last week, a federal inquiry into the cost of living travelled to Alice Springs, where the public was invited to share their experience of how rising costs were impacting them and their businesses.

Louise Wilkinson, a landscaping and pool business owner, told the ABC that supply-chain pressures, freight costs and fuel prices have made operating her Alice Springs business increasingly difficult in recent years.

It is not just pain at the pump that is putting pressure on the community. In the Northern Territory, building costs are more than 30 per cent higher than the rest of the country and an average basket of groceries is the most expensive in the nation, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Victorian senator Jane Hume is chairing the select committee travelling across the country for the cost-of-living inquiry.

“Australians have been telling us that the cost of living is the number one issue for them right now,” she said.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s their electricity bills, or the prices they’re paying for groceries at the supermarket. When they’re paying mortgages or rent, when they’re paying insurance, the cost of doing business is so much higher.

“Everything is like a perfect storm, putting so much pressure on families, on communities, on charities, and on businesses.”

Ms Hume said it was a challenge to find solutions that helped individuals without driving up inflation. She said one recommendation might be for the Government to ditch the heavy vehicle road user charge. However, she cautioned against removing fuel excises because “those fuel excises pay to improve roads”.


Freight expenses, lack of competition hitting regional Australia hardest, cost-of-living inquiry hears (ABC News)