Why Melbourne’s poorest suburbs are much better off than Sydney’s

Residents of neighbourhoods with good infrastructure and services often enjoy lower living costs and better wellbeing and life chances.

But access to education, health, transport and other public amenities and services is unevenly distributed in the city.

Some suburbs are disadvantaged on multiple fronts, and it turns out these areas receive much more state funding in Melbourne than in Sydney.

From a social justice perspective, public funding of infrastructure and services should give priority to the most disadvantaged areas. This “redistribution” is seen as necessary to counter socioeconomic disadvantage and inequality.

In both Sydney and Melbourne, our research shows more funding goes to moderately disadvantaged areas, on average, than to more advantaged areas.

In Sydney, however, government spending in the most disadvantaged suburbs was very low compared to Melbourne.

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