Senator Jacqui Lambie at a Senate Estimates hearing at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture Gary Ramage
Senator Jacqui Lambie at a Senate Estimates hearing at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture Gary Ramage

Senator goes back on support for cashless card

COLOURFUL Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has changed her tune on the Cashless Debit Card, saying she no long wants it introduced in her state because it's designed for places where "people are getting so blind drunk they are collapsing on highways and being cleaned up by long-haul trucks".

The controversial card was rolled out in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay in January.

rials are also ongoing on Ceduna and East Kimberley.

"The card's been designed to work in communities with crisis levels of drug and alcohol abuse where people are getting so blind drunk they are collapsing on highways and being cleaned up by long-haul trucks," Senator Lambie told the Mercury.

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"Some people are having really positive experiences with the card and some are having a tough time with it.

"But it's not having as good a result as it should because the government still hasn't realised that it's no good cutting off cash if you can't get someone sober and studying and working."

Previously a supporter of the card, Senator Lambie said the government needed to invest in the wraparound social services it had promised places like Bundaberg.

 

CONTROVERSIAL: About 6700 people on Newstart, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payments in Hinkler are on the Cashless Debit Card.
CONTROVERSIAL: About 6700 people on Newstart, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payments in Hinkler are on the Cashless Debit Card.

She said another trial site in Tasmania would provide no additional information.

The Federal Government says it wants the community to identify what social services are needed before coughing up the funding it promised.

Welfare recipients on the card have 80 per cent of their payments quarantined from cash withdrawals, alcohol purchases and gambling.

The senator's comments came after a Tasmania Liberal MP indicated support for the card. He later backtracked.