Cash­less card tops MPs agenda

Pilbara News - - News -

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.”

Picture: Bob Gar­nant

Mem­ber for Du­rack Melissa Price.

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