More 500 local residents attended Sophie Cotsis, Member for Canterbury’s Bring Your Bills community expo at the Canterbury Earlwood Caring Community Centre in Earlwood on 2 October 2019.
Also in attendance were Shadow Minister for Cost of Living and Seniors Jo Haylen, Mayor of Canterbury Bankstown Council Khal Asfour, Deputy Mayor of Canterbury Bankstown Council Bilal El-Hayek and Clr Maryanne Duggan from Strathfield Council representing the Leader of NSW Labor Jodi McKay.
A major success for the community expo was the uncovering of serious systemic issues regarding elderly residents, especially pensioners, being unaware of the number of entitlements, subsidies, rebates and public services offered to them.
“Many pensioners, particularly from multicultural backgrounds, struggle with accessing a computer and online content” said Ms Cotsis.
“Pensioners from multicultural backgrounds are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Many struggle with speaking proficient English and communicating concerns. These days the Government is forcing them to access online content for information which severely disenfranchises the community even further.
“Residents were grateful to have an opportunity to have face-to-face interaction with service representatives to discuss issues and concerns rather than be pressured to go online for answers and information.
“As the local member, I am pleased to see many pensioners that attended our expo will now be saving hundreds on their energy, water and council rates which will help them immensely to tackle cost of living pressures” said Ms Cotsis.
Local residents who were unable to attend the event are encouraged to contact the Office of Sophie Cotsis MP regarding their State matters on 9718 1234.
Services agencies and organisations present at the expo included;
- Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW
- Sydney Water
- Revenue NSW
- Service NSW
- NSW Trustee and Guardian
- Legal Aid NSW
- LawAccess NSW
- Department of F&CS Housing
- Canterbury-Bankstown Council
- Metro Assist
- Greek Orthodox Community of NSW