Senate committee supports expansion of Cashless Debit Card

7th December 2017 8:55 AM
Keith Pitt and Allan Tudge announce the Cashless Card for Bundaberg earlier this year. Keith Pitt and Allan Tudge announce the Cashless Card for Bundaberg earlier this year. Craig Warhurst

FEDERAL Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt has welcomed support from the Senate committee into the expansion of the Cashless Debit Card.

The Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee handed down its report yesterday recommending that the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card) Bill 2017 be passed.

The committee also sees significant benefit in the continuation of the CDC in the trial sites and expansion to new locations.

Mr Pitt is now calling on the Labor Party to stop playing politics.

"Clearly the Senate committee is supportive of the legislation, so Labor is way off track in opposing any expansion of the Cashless Debit Card," he said.

"How convenient for Labor to reveal this stance after the Queensland state election when it was happy to sit on the fence.

"While Labor is busy playing politics, the Coalition Government is trying to implement a policy which is having real results and could make a difference in the lives of real people in my electorate."

The committee noted wide ranging support for the objective of the Cashless Debit Card to reduce the social harms caused by excessive use of alcohol, drugs and gambling.

"The feedback my office has received shows 75 per cent support for the Cashless Debit Card being introduced," Mr Pitt said.

"The Hinkler community wants the card, as does the service providers who are at the front line of support services.

"The very small minority of people who oppose the card have still not offered up an alternative."

 

PROTEST: Cashless Debit Card protesters at the CBD.
PROTEST: Cashless Debit Card protesters at the CBD. Mikayla Haupt

 

 

Mr Pitt said the joint, bipartisan committee also noted the extensive consultation in the trials sites, as well as the proposed new sites of the Goldfields region and the Hinkler electorate and that a high level of community support had been fundamental to the introduction of the CDC in these locations.

"This flies in the face of the statements from the Labor party that there wasn't enough community consultation in Hinkler," Mr Pitt said.

The report can be found here.