QCOSS is committed to staying engaged with people in the Hinkler community (Bundaberg and Hervey) as the federal government’s Cashless Debit Card Trial (CDCT) commences from 29 January 2019. While we remain steadfastly opposed to the CDCT for any community, we will continue to support the community by providing people affected by the trial with information about the rollout and their participation in the trial process.
We have confirmed the criteria has not changed for CDCT since the pre-notification letters were sent out in December to potential CDCT participants. Letters were sent to people who were eligible at that point in time. These people will remain eligible unless their circumstances have changed. People will not receive any further letter if they are no longer eligible (but will likely already know if their circumstances have substantially changed). Such circumstances could include (but is not limited to) people obtaining paid work or having moved out of the trial site before the deadline in December.
From 29 January the first of the confirmation letters will be sent out from DHS (Centrelink), and then separate letters from Indue followed by the Indue Card itself. These will not be done all at once, they will be done in a series of geographical tranches starting with Bundaberg. It is likely that the tranches will progress rapidly unless there are technical problems.
The Department of Social Services have advised that there are representatives located in the Hervey Bay and Bundaberg Centrelink Service Centres to assist anyone who has any questions or concerns about the card. These provide a ‘shop-front’ resource for those affected, or potentially affected by the trial. Further information is available on the Department of Social Services website here.
Late last year, QCOSS launched the CDCT survey to target people in the region to hear their views on the trial. We now have over 115 responses to our Hinkler CDCT survey with over 75 per cent of respondents saying they are opposed to the CDCT in its current compulsory form.
A significant majority of those identifying as individuals (around 88 per cent) have responded to the survey, as opposed to organisation representatives. So far, 51 per cent of those surveyed are expecting family or friends to be on the CDCT, with 34 per cent of service respondents’ expecting to have clients in scope for the CDCT. Over half (62 per cent) of the respondents provided additional qualitative feedback.
Once the survey closes at the end of the month, QCOSS will provide a thorough breakdown of the results. If you are from the Hinkler region and you would like to participate in the survey, please contact Senior Policy Officer Rodney Holmes on (07) 3004 6930 or email [email protected].