Time to step up and say NO – cashless debit card has not passed

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With the bill to introduce the cashless debit card to Hinkler not being passed in the Senate yesterday, we must continue the fight to stop this bill.

QCOSS, with many locals, stands strongly against the introduction of the cashless debit card. It is fundamentally flawed to address complex health and social issues through changes to the welfare system.

“We are here on the Fraser Coast working alongside the community to build inclusion – to bring people together, and ideas like the cashless debit card only work to divide communities,” said QCOSS CEO Mark Henley.

With the confusion in our federal parliament this week, there is understandably confusion in our community. The bill was voted on yesterday but with amendments being made it won’t face a final vote until after 10 September.  This provides us with an opportunity to work together to lobby the Senate to stop this foolishness.

“The Australian Government has continued to ignore evidence and community perspectives in pressing ahead with this trial,” said QCOSS CEO Mark Henley.

“Even the Auditor General has found major flaws in the monitoring and evaluation of the Cashless Debit Card Trials. No reduction in social harm has been proven in any of the evaluation that has been done.”

“The introduction of this card can only work to further demonise people accessing income support, divide the community, and with no clear evidence that it works, the Australian Government is gambling with the lives of people experiencing vulnerability.”

“If the driver for choosing Hinkler is youth unemployment (as cited in the Bill), then put in place programs to address employment – the cashless debit card in no way addresses unemployment.”

QCOSS will continue to work with the people and communities of the Hervey Bay region to help implement place-based, citizen-led, strengths-based approaches to developing more inclusive thriving communities.

For nearly 60 years QCOSS has been a leading force for social change to eliminate poverty and disadvantage.

24 August 2018