This week’s Anangu Lands Paper Tracker radio show focuses on the Cashless Debit Card that is being trialed in communities in the West Coast of South Australia, around the Ceduna area; and the communities of Kununurra and Wyndham in Western Australia.
The Federal Government’s Department of Social Services has stated that the Cashless Card was introduced in order to reduce the harm caused by “Welfare-fueled alcohol and drug abuse and gambling” by reducing the amount of cash available to people. 80% of people’s welfare payments are paid into a debit card account that cannot be used for alcohol or gambling. People on the Card can only access 20% of their income benefits in the form of cash.
The Cashless Debit Card is part of Government’s income management strategy and was introduced in the Ceduna area in March 2016 and in Western Australia in April 2016. The trial is scheduled to run for 12 months – and it recently reached its half-way mark.
We’ll be hearing from people who have been monitoring the trial and its impact on West Coast communities and we’ll also be hearing from community people who have been directly affected by the trial of the Cashless Card.
Our first guest is Pas Forgione. Pas is involved in the Anti-Poverty Network of South Australia and the Stop Income Management SA initiative, with a particular focus on the effects of the Playford Income Management program and the impact of the Cashless Debit Card on the affected West Coast communities.
Our second guest is David Pav from Ceduna on the West Coast. David talks about how the Card has affected people living in the Ceduna area.