Pitt calls for bullying behaviour to stop

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt says a very small group of protestors against the Cashless Debit Card are using their cause to bully and harass businesses and individuals.

“Enough is enough. This has gone too far. I absolutely respect that people can have whatever opinion they want about the Cashless Debit Card, but the same respect is not being shown by a very small group campaigning against the card.”

Mr Pitt said several businesses have contacted his office after being harassed by this group.

“Everyone – individuals and businesses – are entitled to their opinion, but according to the people against the card you can only have an opinion if you agree with them.

“I’ve had elderly people approach my office after feeling threatened and bullied into signing a petition which they didn’t understand.

“One even asked how to get their name off the petition, once they got the facts about the Cashless Debit Card from my office.

“I’ve received personal threats and now businesses are being bullied by people opposed to the card.”

Mr Pitt said for months this group has continued to spread misinformation about the card and scaremonger, even after it was announced last month that Hinkler would be the next site.

“They still claim that it will apply to all welfare recipients, despite it applying in Hinkler to people 35 years and under on Newstart, Youth Allowance (Job seeker), Parenting Payment (Single) or Parenting Payment (Partnered).

“We are a democratic nation and I always encourage people to have their say, but this type of bombastic, unethical behaviour is unacceptable.”

Mr Pitt is also concerned about the group filming and posting videos to social media without the consent of people and businesses which have inadvertently been filmed.

“People have a right to privacy and this group continually ignore that, capturing images of people going about their daily business,” he said.

FAST FACTS:

  • People aged 35 years and under who receive Newstart, Youth Allowance (Job seeker), Parenting Payment (Single) or Parenting Payment (Partnered) in the Hinkler electorate will receive the card.

  • About 6,700 people in total will receive the card.

  • The Cashless Debit Card looks and operates like any other card. It cannot be used to buy alcohol or gambling products, or to withdraw cash therefore restricting access to purchase illegal drugs.

  • 20 per cent of a person’s welfare payment is placed in their usual bank account.

  • 80 per cent is placed onto the Cashless Debit Card.

  • People can still use Centrepay and the Rent Deduction Scheme available from Centrelink.

  • It can be used:

  • in stores that have EFTPOS

  • to shop at approved online stores

  • to pay bills and make recurring payments (such as mortgages)

  • for online banking – with an app for both Android and Apple devices.

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