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Greens call on Labor to block Government attempts to extend cashless debit card trial sites to June 2020

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 15 Feb 2019

With three cashless debit card trial sites due to expire on June 30 2019, the Government has introduced amendments to the House today in an attempt to extend the trials in Ceduna, Goldfields and the East Kimberley by another year.

“The trials in the East Kimberley, Ceduna and the Goldfields are due to end on 30 June 2019, they should not be extended, this is just an attempt by Government to entrench this dreadful card”, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“The Government keeps telling us that “the card works” but rely on anecdotal claims and “evidence” that has been refuted by various academics and the ANAO.

“Labor has committed to stopping the card in the Hinkler region and the Goldfields, but I ask again, why the card is suitable for regions with high populations of First Nations peoples, the East Kimberley and Ceduna.

“Income management does not work. It didn’t work during the NT Intervention and the ANAO have said there is no evidence to suggest a reduction in social harm can be attributed to the card.

“The money wasted on income management needs to be spent on raising Newstart, better employment services and drug, alcohol and mental health services.

“We have had three Senate inquiries into the cashless debit card and I have sat with my colleagues and we have all heard the same evidence from academics experts and the community that income management does not work and is causing people harm.

“This Government has an agenda and it is stigmatising and demeaning people who dare to access the social safety net, Labor must not be complicit in this approach.

“I am calling on Shorten's Labor to commit to putting a stop to these trials and stopping income management and investing in what works."

Media Contact:

Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180



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