Low wages already sit 'on the edge of poverty'

THE Fair Work Commission approval of a minimum wage rise of just 42 cents to $17.29 an hour has received a mixed reaction from Gladstone people and some local businesses.

The rise is the smallest wage increase in many years - a rise of just 2.5% or $16 a week.

Some Gladstone residents we spoke to out on the street today condemned the increase as being far too small, saying this was an expensive town to live in.

Some said the minimum wage was already "sitting on the edge of poverty".

Struggling shop keepers say Gladstone's small businesses are already doing it tough with the town feeling like it is experiencing a recession.

Business operators acknowledged that the minimum wage was too low but also they could not afford to pay more if they were to survive.