Cooroy’s Linda Hanson will travel to Canberra.
Cooroy’s Linda Hanson will travel to Canberra. Geoff Potter

Linda to speak against poverty

COOROY'S Linda Hanson is a mother of three and former Uniting Church minister on a mission to halve global poverty by 2015.

She will be among 300 committed advocates who will attend the Voices for Justice in Canberra.

And federal Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss already has agreed to listen.

Ms Hanson, a letter writer for the Micah Challenge campaign in the past, is deeply interested in equality and not afraid to mix her ideals with the pragmatic world of politics.

"When I found out that no one was going (to the September 15-18 event) from Wide Bay, I asked my husband and he agreed, so he will be minding the kids for four days," Ms Hanson said.

"My kids have access to clean drinking water, food and a roof over their head so I wanted to get involved in helping end world poverty, especially since the campaign has been effective over the past five years."

Ms Hanson said the Voices for Justice would urge the nation's leaders to turn their good intentions into action and finish what the government started when Australia signed on to the UN Millennium Declaration, to release people from extreme poverty, in 2000.

The former minister, who is now a stay-at-home mum caring for her children aged between three and nine, said with three years to go until the target date for achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals, campaigners will seek to keep poverty alleviation high on the political agenda in the lead up to next year's federal election.

"A lot of people aren't aware that significant progress has been made in the past 20 years towards lifting people out of poverty," Ms Hanson said.

"The international goal to halve the proportion of people without access to clean drinking water has already been reached ahead of schedule.

"This is just one example of the difference we can make when people all over the world join together for a common cause.

"We know we have the ability to decrease suffering and poverty but we are only part-way through the work."

"In a world where more than seven million children still die before their fifth birthday each year from preventable causes, we can and should do more.

"I'm going to Canberra because I want our leaders to know that Australians are committed to finishing what we started."

Ms Hanson said she was delighted when Mr Truss's office responded in a day, agreeing for the MP and Nationals leader to meet her and hear what she had to say.

"It will be a privilege to represent the electorate of Wide Bay and speak out for those who aren't able to speak for themselves," she said.

"We'll be telling our politicians that people from the Sunshine Coast really care about our global neighbours who are suffering in poverty."

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