Andrew Forrest is trying to use similar shock tactics to those of the previous Howard Government to scare people into supporting the cashless welfare card, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
“We are seeing a worrying ramp up of Andrew Forrest’s cashless welfare card campaign that uses children, violence and fear just like the Howard Government did in 2007 over the NT Intervention.
“The Howard Government did this to justify the Northern Territory Intervention to impose income management and the Basics Card, at the time the Little Children are Sacred report was used to scare people into supporting income management.
“The final evaluation of the NT Intervention shows that it met none of its objectives. Ten years on we are still seeing the number of children going into out of home care increasing and appalling disadvantage persists.
“Using violent imagery then offering a one-dimensional, paternalistic and previously failed approach to a complex problem shows that Andrew Forrest is more concerned about furthering his ideologies than looking at what works.
“I share concerns about disadvantage and agree we need to be addressing severe disadvantage in communities like Port Hedland. We need a multifaceted approach including addressing alcohol supply, drug and alcohol services, and wrap around services driven by the community.
“I agree we do need to be investing in communities but in approaches that work. The Government invested over $1.2 billion in the NT Intervention which met none of its objectives. We should stop wasting money on income management style approaches and start looking at real solutions that work”.