Expansion of cashless debit card trial

The cashless debit card trial already in operation in certain parts of Australia will be expanded to include sites in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay in Queensland, under a bill passed by the Parliament.

Sep 25, 2018

The trial requires a portion of welfare payments be put into the account of the person receiving the money, which is only accessible with the card. This is designed to ensure these payments are spent on important living costs such as food, clothing and housing, and reduce the risk of money being spent on drugs, alcohol or gambling.

The Attorney-General, the Hon Christian Porter MP, told the House of Representatives that the outcomes of the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card Trial Expansion) Bill 2018 ‘will help to test the card and the technology that supports it in more diverse communities and settings.’

The bill was amended in the Senate to make sure that any review of the government’s trial must be independently evaluated, with trial participants to be consulted and recommendations made about whether the trial should be continued.