Crimes statistics indicate a significant increase in robbery and threatening behaviour in Kununurra since the cashless welfare card trial was introduced in the community, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
“In figures provided by the WA police we have seen a marked increase in non-aggravated robbery offences, theft, and threatening behaviour in the period that the card was introduced.
“The cashless welfare card was intended to control the incomes of anyone on income support as a supposed means of reducing drug and alcohol abuse. For those managing on a shoestring budget the card makes life more difficult, and those that are struggling with addiction will find ways around it. This has been evidenced repeatedly.
“Billionaire Andrew Forrest has been in Canberra pushing for a further rollout of the top-down cashless welfare card with a violent and fear mongering video of Aboriginal communities in regional towns, but the Greens have obtained evidence though the WA parliament that shows crimes have increased in Kununurra since the card was introduced.
“I urge the Federal Government to reconsider plans to expand the cashless welfare card to other regions and to end the trial sites in the East Kimberley and Ceduna. We need locally driven, well-resourced wrap around services to support those struggling with addiction.”