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Labor sides with Government to keep cashless welfare card in East Kimberley

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 14 Sep 2016

The Labor party have today sided with the Government to oppose a disallowance motion in the Senate that would halt the cashless welfare card in the East Kimberley.

“It is disappointing that the Labor party has sided with the Government to allow the cashless welfare card trial in the East Kimberley to continue.

“As anticipated, we are hearing about an alleged black market emerging to ensure access to cash with the local taxi industry and other issues with the card. Controlling income did not work in the Northern Territory, where we also saw a range of issues emerge.


“The Government has rejected my comparisons of the cashless welfare card to the Basics Card, but just recently former Prime Minister Tony Abbott penned an opinion piece referring to the ‘two trials are a refinement on the basics card’. The Basics Card has not achieved its objectives in the NT, paternalistic approaches to reducing disadvantage do not work, the evidence shows this.

“I welcome news that the Government is considering abandoning a third trial site. This may suggest they are struggling to find a willing third trial site.

“The Greens will continue to oppose the cashless welfare card, which is an ideological and harsh approach to addressing drug and alcohol abuse in the community”. 

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