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Tough day in Kununurra and Wyndham as cashless welfare card rolls out

The Greens say today will be a tough day for income support recipients in Kununurra and Wyndham, with the cashless welfare card trial beginning today despite community opposition.

“Today throughout Kununurra and Wyndham income support recipients will start receiving the cashless welfare card. There may be recipients who still don’t know that the card is coming.

“The card is going to make life harder for working age income support recipients, including those on the Disability Support Pension and Carers Payment.

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Coalition and Labor knock back Greens call to ditch income management

The Coalition and Labor party have knocked back a Greens motion calling on the Government to ditch paternalistic income management that doesn’t work.

“The Government is rolling out cashless welfare card trials in Ceduna and the East Kimberley, despite evidence a top-down approach to alcohol and drug abuse, gambling doesn’t work. This is what prompted the motion today.

“We have already trialled income management. It’s called the Basics Card and has been going for early nine years in the Northern Territory. Evidence shows it has not delivered on its objectives.

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Estimates reveals cashless welfare card still has huge loopholes and remains a waste of time and resources

Estimates has revealed the cashless welfare card trial set for South Australia and the East Kimberley still has logistical issues and loopholes that need to be addressed, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“This card is going to make life even more difficult for those on income support and is likely to entrench poverty.

“The trials were set up to test whether the cashless card will reduce gambling and drug and alcohol abuse. As part of the trial process $1 million is also being injected into the community for wrap around support services.

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Greens to move disallowance motion for Ceduna cashless welfare card trial

With the Government’s clear ideological intention to expand the cashless welfare card trials throughout regional Australia, Senator Rachel Siewert has announced plans to move to disallow the Ceduna trial when Parliament resumes next week.    

“There were many concerned that the three trial sites supported by both the Government and Labor would see the rollout of this so called trial across Australia. Unfortunately it looks like those concerns were well founded”, said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Minister Redman should apologise after threatening funding to communities that oppose cashless welfare card

“It is outrageous and offensive that Minister Terry Redman has told both media and the Shire of Halls Creek that refusal to take part in cashless welfare card trials will result in a loss of future funding”, said Australian Greens spokesperson on community services, Senator Rachel Siewert.

“Halls Creek should be allowed to oppose opt-in trials without sacrificing access to good services that are essential to overcoming disadvantage. Communities are crying out for services and here the Government inappropriately pressuring them in order to get access to better services.

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Greens: Labor must be true opposition and reject healthy welfare card

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has today said the Australian Greens will oppose the legislation introducing a healthy welfare card and called on the ALP to do the same.

"I urge the Labor party to be genuine opposition when it comes to voting on legislation that will seek to rollout the healthy welfare card trials.

“It is incomprehensible that a paternalistic thought bubble by a billionaire could materialise with the support of the Labor party, rolling out as early as next year.   

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Greens: Healthy welfare card in Ceduna is the wrong way to go

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has said today that emerging details of the healthy welfare card trial rollout further demonstrate that the punitive measure should be abandoned.

“To learn that 80% of someone’s income support will be forcibly quarantined to a card will make life remarkably harder for this already struggling group.

“Taking a punitive, top down approach that removes peoples’ decision making capacity doesn’t work. We know from evaluations that income management hasn’t delivered results, the healthy welfare card is a continuation of this approach.

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Government must learn from the past and abandon top-down healthy welfare card

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today that it is disappointing the Federal Government is pressing on with the healthy welfare card despite overwhelming evidence that income management is ineffective and that this measure is just as likely to be ineffective.

"Late last year the Government released the Evaluation of New Income Management in the Northern Territory final report, which showed that this wasteful and expensive regime had failed to deliver on its objectives.

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