Former Cashless Debit Card program communities have support services extended

Dept of Social Services

The Albanese Labor Government is extending a range of support services and programs in former Cashless Debit Card communities with $17.5 million in additional funding.

This brings the total of funds committed to support services to over $130 million in these communities since the abolition of the Cashless Debit Card program.

The extension will fund the continuation of 59 support services from 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025 in six locations, with funding targeted to address high priority needs.

These include youth services in Ceduna, children and parental support services in the East Kimberley and employment and skills services in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay.

The Government is committed to supporting communities in former Cashless Debit Card program areas by putting in place the services and supports which communities have said are actually making a difference.

Selected organisations provide various forms of support including financial and digital literacy and guidance, job readiness and employment capability, and cultural connection to services.

The former government’s Cashless Debit Card program was never supported by evidence. Our Government is committed to putting in place services and supports which are based in evidence and which communities have said are actually making a difference.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the extension of funding is integral to ensuring these communities have necessary services and programs in place.

“Almost two years since the Government first committed to the abolishment of the mandatory, punitive Cashless Debit Card program, we are continuing to assist Australians in locations where the card was in place through funding essential services to meet community needs,” Minister Rishworth said.

“It’s important these communities continue to get tailored local solutions that support their priorities and continue their own pathway to addressing entrenched disadvantage.

“By extending Government support for these critical services we are delivering real solutions for those communities who were subject to the Cashless Debit Card program trial,” Minister Rishworth said.

A comprehensive list of support services is available on the Department of Social Services’ website – Support Services.

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