The Australian Greens support rallies in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane as part of a national weekend of action against the Cashless Welfare Card.
“This weekend communities in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are rallying against the cashless welfare card - which is effectively income management on steroids.
“Once the card is implemented in the three trial sites, people on working age income support payments will only be able to get 20 per cent of their payments in cash. The rest can only be used on the card, which means it can only be used at stores or supermarkets where credit or debit cards are accepted.
“The trial in Ceduna begins next week, despite strong community opposition. The second trial is scheduled for the East Kimberley in April and the Government holding meetings in Geraldton presumably with a view to having this as a third trial site.
“Having visited Geraldton this week it is clear that there is concern about the card and its potential impacts.
“The evidence from the NT Intervention shows that paternalistic income management does not reduce disadvantage.
“Instead we should be properly funding wrap around services and turning our attention to the underlying causes of alcohol and drug abuse which the Government claims these trials are about. Restricting someone’s cash is not an effective way to stop addiction to alcohol, drugs or gambling. We must have the courage to do better”.