I congratulate the Big Issue on its twenty-fifth anniversary.
Across New South Wales, the Big Issue provides people experiencing homelessness and other forms of social and economic disadvantage a pathway to a working life.
Since they first hit the street in June 1996, over 7000 vendors have been economically empowered through the 13 million copies of the magazine sold.
No matter where you are in our State, it is near impossible to miss a fluoro vest and a friendly face selling copies of the Big Issue.
Of course, the Big Issue is more than a magazine; it is a community. Since being founded, the magazine has started a number of programs to assist people, including the Women's Workforce, the Big Issue Classroom and the Community Street Soccer Program.
Last year was difficult for all Australians, but particularly for the people who the Big Issue aims to help.
When the COVID-19 crisis hit, it meant vendors were unable to be out selling magazines. Even though the Big Issue began 25 years ago, it is needed now more than ever.
Congratulations to the vendors, board and all those involved with the Big Issue over the past 25 years.