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Senate gives Government a week to table documents and statistics used for shoddy cashless welfare card report

The Australian Greens have secured Senate support for an Order of Production of Documents pertaining to the cashless welfare card progress report, which was produced by the Department of Social Services a week and a half after admitting in Senate estimates that a report didn’t exist.

“Repeatedly over the last few months we have seen the Minister drip feed mostly anecdotal data to media as a means of promoting the cashless welfare card trials.  We have also seen media that mentions a ‘confidential report’.

“In estimates I asked the Department to table the results so far that the Minister has been quoting to media. They could not provide that information. When further pressed, the Department said there was ‘no report’.

“A week and a half later a report appeared from the Department, I found this remarkable turn-around very convenient and it raised some red flags for me.

“The Senate has now given the Government a week to table the documents and statistics used to prepare this report, which is clearly a political puff piece filled with premature data and unreliable anecdotal feedback.

“Given the Department could produce the report in its entirety in a week in a half, it should be viable for the Department to pull together the data used for the report in a week, with the deadline on November 16”. 

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