Ceduna Mayor urges Hinkler residents to show their support for Cashless Debit Card

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Ceduna Mayor Allan Suter is urging Hinkler residents to show their support for the Cashless Debit Card (CDC), which is being proposed by Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt.

Ceduna in South Australia was one of two sites which participated in a trial of the CDC. Due to the strong independent evaluation results from the trial, the Government announced in the recent Federal Budget it was expanding the CDC to two additional communities.

Mayor Suter said the CDC had been a huge success in his community.

“We’ve seen a very dramatic decrease in gambling, particularly poker machines in Ceduna. Nuisance behaviour on the streets by intoxicated people has basically disappeared,” Cr Suter said.

“One drug dealer has actually left town because the card destroyed his business base.

“The most significant benefit is the improvement in the lives of children and mothers. Children were suffering because most of the welfare benefits were being poured down peoples’ throats and that has turned around.”

Under the CDC, 80 per cent of an individual’s welfare payment is placed on the card, which prevents people spending all of their welfare on illicit drugs, gambling and alcohol. The remaining 20 per cent is placed into their normal bank account.  

“Claims about the card not being accepted by some businesses is totally false. The card, and therefore 80 per cent of their welfare, can be spent anywhere EFTPOS is available, unless they sell alcohol or gambling products,” Cr Suter said.

“The card does not apply to aged pensioners.

“I’ve worked in Local Government for 14 years and most of that time has been spent trying to address the very same community problems you have in Hinkler. Nothing we’ve tried previously has had anywhere near the same positive impact as the Cashless Debit Card.

“There is very strong support for the card in my community. For the first time, all three levels of Government are working together with not-for-profit organisations to make meaningful change. While it’s not a magic silver bullet, I truly believe the CDC is the best thing that’s ever happened to our community.

“There will always be a handful of noisy opponents. We had a small group who were very active on social media, working from as far as London and Los Angeles. Their tactics were deplorable.

“Ceduna is a great community that’s worth fighting for. From what Keith tells me, the Wide Bay Burnett region is too! I urge Hinkler residents who support the CDC to speak up and sign Keith’s petition.”

Mr Pitt thanked Mayor Suter for his support and for sharing his insights.

“Mayor Suter is a very effective and passionate advocate for the people of Ceduna,” Mr Pitt said.

Sign the petition at: https://gopetition.com/petitions/i-support-a-cashless-debit-card-in-the-hinkler-electorate.html or drop in to the Hinkler electorate office at 41 Woongarra Street, Bundaberg.

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