Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Labor backflips on Cashless Debit Card making it voluntary

The Albanese Government has been forced to make an embarrassing backflip on the Cashless Debit Card legislation, admitting it’s removal will have serious consequences for vulnerable communities.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said Labor have had to put in amendments to extend the Cashless Debit Card in all trial sites – Bundaberg and Hervey Bay, Ceduna, East Kimberley and Goldfields – making it voluntary.

“The Cashless Debit Card will continue to operate on a voluntary basis which is great news for those in the trial sites who wish to remain on it,” Mr Pitt said.

“Labor underestimated the level of support for the Cashless Debit Card and have had to make concessions to keep it in place and work on a new card technology which will be available in March 2023.

“From all reports, the new ‘enhanced’ card technology sounds exactly like the functionality that the Cashless Debit Card has now, but just called a different name.

“The anecdotal feedback I have continued to receive about the Cashless Debit Card is it has made a positive difference in our community, it is strongly supported and if people want to remain on it, now they can.

“Labor have also been forced to make transitional plans for each of the four trial sites to ensure that there are necessary supports in place.

“I have repeatedly called on Labor to state what they will do to support people and the silence has been deafening.

“At last Labor will have to reveal how it will support the community with the option to no longer participate in the trial becoming available.

“Sadly, this should have been in place well before now, but our community could be waiting up to six months to see what these supports will look like.

“I hope Labor actually start listening to the concerns of communities and ensure that support measures are delivered in a timely manner.”

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