A presentation on poverty measurement in Australia was made by Melissa Wong, Social Policy Research Centre, at the Second Peter Townsend Memorial Conference, Measuring Poverty: The State of the Art, in 2011.

The paper reported on research in Australia into perceptions of necessities and lack of necessities.

In 2010, essential items covered:

  1. Warm clothes and bedding, if it’s cold
  2. Medical treatment if needed
  3. Able to buy medicines prescribed by a doctor
  4. A substantial meal at least once a day
  5. Dental treatment if needed
  6. A decent and secure home
  7. Children can participate in school activities and outings
  8. A yearly dental check-up for children
  9. A hobby or leisure activity for children
  10. Up-to-date schoolbooks and new school clothes
  11. A roof and gutters that do not leak
  12. Secure locks on doors and windows
  13. Regular social contact with other people
  14. Furniture in reasonable condition
  15. Heating in at least one room of the house
  16. Up to $500 in savings for an emergency
  17. A separate bed for each child
  18. A washing machine
  19. Home contents insurance
  20. Presents for family or friends at least once a year
  21. Computer skills
  22. Comprehensive motor vehicle insurance
  23. A telephone
  24. A week’s holiday away from home each year