The Greens are calling on the Parliament to reject the Government’s attempt to introduce the Cashless Debit Card to the Northern Territory with legislation introduced into the House today.
“The Intervention and income management was a failure that caused harm to communities in the NT, and did not meet its objectives”, Australian Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
“I urge that people not be hoodwinked, yet again by the Government in going down this punitive path, like they were a over decade ago when the Intervention was rolled out with bi-partisan support.
“The bill covers the existing trials sites and extends them by ANOTHER year. The Government is clearly trying to entrench this card by stealth and we will fight it with the community every step of the way.
“First Nations peoples are sick of things being down to them, not with them.
“First Nations communities have the solutions it is the Government who keeps denying them the opportunity to work with them and who refuses to commit to a true process of co-design.
“The final evaluation of income management as part of the NT Intervention found that it met NONE of its objectives.
“Income management is a discriminatory measure that flies in the face of evidence.
“A consistent criticism of the Intervention has been the lack of adequate consultation that has led to policies being forced on communities in the absence of understanding or cooperation.
“We have seen a significant waste on ineffective measures, when far better outcomes could have been delivered through direct investment in communities and organisations on the ground.
‘I implore the Government to listen to the range of communities and individuals who spoke out against the Intervention and income management over many years.
“The time has come for a new approach.”
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie; 0418 401 180