The Government is using the final Parliamentary sitting week of this year to push through legislation to make the current Cashless Debit Card trial sites permanent and extend the card to the Northern Territory and Cape York to replace the BasicsCard, despite no evidence it works.
“We’ve had 13 years of this discriminatory punitive policy. 13 years of targeting First Nations peoples and those on low incomes with income management, Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens Spokesperson on Family and Community Services said.
Supporting this bill essentially entrenches one of the most paternalistic measures of the Northern Territory Intervention.
This is not a bill for the crossbench to make deals over. This is about vulnerable people’s lives.
People have been subjected to this social experiment for far too long and it’s impacting on their dignity, quality of life, and mental health.
Income management does not meet its stated objectives and is making people’s lives worse.
This card has been imposed on communities without proper consultation and constantly extended on an ad-hoc basis year after year.
We can and should do better.
No card, no deals.