Cashless card tops MPs agenda
The Pilbara’s Federal member is pushing to introduce the Cashless Welfare Card in the Pilbara in an effort to curb alcoholfuelled crime in the region.
Durack MHR Melissa Price attended a crime forum in the Town of Port Hedland recently where issues of antisocial behaviour and the merits of a cashless welfare card were raised.
The card aims to reduce welfare-fuelled domestic violence, antisocial behaviour and gambling, as well as increasing childhood school attendance.
Under the program, participants receive 80 per cent of their welfare payment into a mainstream debit card account, which cannot be used to purchase alcohol and gambling products, nor can it be withdrawn as cash.
Ms Price said the card had proved successful in the areas it has so far been trialled in.
“It’s time to act in the Pilbara,” she said.
“The Cashless Welfare Card has made a big difference in the East Kimberley and in Ceduna in South Australia.
“The Cashless Welfare Card will go towards improving the crime rate, particularly reducing the antisocial behaviour in the region fuelled by alcohol and drugs.”
According to the initiative’s most recent report, the number of domestic violence incidence reports received in July was 13 per cent lower compared to April last year.
Admissions to the local sobering-up unit in Wyndham were 69 per cent lower in September than before the trial began.
Ms Price delivered a speech in Parliament last week outlining the need for the Cashless Welfare Card to be rolled out in the Pilbara.
“The Cashless Welfare Card is having a positive impact in communities across Australia,” she said.
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got, and we must change the methods being used to address crime in the region as policing is only one of the tools in the tool box.”
Member for Durack Melissa Price.