Bay woman behind cashless card protest outside Indue office

A HERVEY Bay woman is organising a protest against the Cashless Debit Card outside the Indue office in Toowong.

Indue currently manages the Cashless Debit Card, which is being trialled in several communities around Australia, including the Hinkler electorate.

Kathryn Wilkes, from No Cashless Welfare Debit Card Australia, said the trial of the card was only supposed to last a year and was not meant to expand unless results could be proven.

"Now, it's five years in and we don't have any legitimate results and the Adelaide University Evaluation Report due in October 2019 still hasn't been released," Ms Wilkes said.

"It's September 2020, so where is it? Why are they moving to expand again with no evidence it's working and so much first hand evidence it's not?"

Ms Wilkes said the protest was going ahead because the Federal Government's push to roll out the cashless card nationwide was a step closer with the current Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Income Management to Cashless Debit Card Transition) Bill 2019 before parliament now.

"We continue to receive daily complaints about the card declining for no reason, people being left stranded and people unable to pay their bills and rents," Ms Wilkes said.

"It's another punitive and demeaning roadblock for people already struggling to get on their feet."

Over a half dozen Senate inquiries and multiple government commissioned studies since 2007, including the 2017 Orima Report have demonstrated that both the Basics Card and the Cashless Debit Card iterations of compulsory third party income management policy have not worked, Ms Wilkes said.

The Department of Social Services has been contacted for comment.

The protest will be held on September 24 between 10am and 12.30pm.

A webcast will then be held from 7.30pm, live streamed to the No Cashless Welfare Debit Card Australia Facebook page, giving those opposed to the card the chance to share their stories.