Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt.
Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt. Mike Knott BUN201217PITT1

'Difficult but necessary': Pitt on cashless card passing

AFTER more than 18 months of community consultation and debate, the Cashless Debit Card passed the Senate in a tight 33-32 vote on Tuesday.

The trial will be extended to the Hinkler region in the coming months, with about 6,700 people set to receive the card.

Hinkler MP Keith Pitt said the legislation was a "difficult, but necessary policy".

"This policy is about families, helping the children of this region, and breaking the cycle of welfare dependence," Mr Pitt said.

"I've always stated the Cashless Debit Card is not a cure all. It is just one tool to try and address these issues, when supported by job creation programs and support services.

"During extensive community consultation conducted over 18 months, the feedback from local frontline service providers, was that the trial needed to include parenting payments, because the people who are being affected the most are children."

Mr Pitt said the Department of Social Services was also working on establishing additional support services, aided by an investment of $1 million, to provide financial counselling, alcohol and drug services, job readiness programs and health services for people who will be on the CDC.

"It's unfortunate that the Labor Party didn't continue the bipartisan support it showed for the initial trial sites but we are grateful a number of independent senators listened to the people of this electorate," he said.

The Cashless Debit Card quarantines 80 percent of a person's welfare payment onto the card and it cannot be used to buy alcohol, gambling or withdraw cash.



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