'BRING ON THE CASH­LESS CARD'

THE MA­JOR­ITY WANT WEL­FARE RE­FORM

Fraser Coast Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - CAROLYN BOOTH

THE ma­jor­ity of Hin­kler res­i­dents want the con­tro­ver­sial cash­less card in­tro­duced.

An in­de­pen­dent poll com­mis­sioned by the Fraser Coast

Chron­i­cle sur­veyed 637 peo­ple across the elec­torate on Thurs­day night ask­ing their stance on the pro­posed wel­fare re­form scheme.

AN EX­CLU­SIVE poll for the Chron­i­cle has re­vealed 53.5 per cent of the elec­torate sup­ports the Cash­less Debit Card com­pared to 27.8 per cent in op­po­si­tion, with 18.7 per cent sit­ting on the fence.

The fig­ures are ob­tained from a sur­vey con­ducted by Reach­Tel, which polled 637 res­i­dents across the Hin­kler elec­torate on Thurs­day night.

Reach­Tel spokesman James Stewart said the re­sults showed the ma­jor­ity of the elec­torate sup­ported the pro­posal.

“We’ve got what you’d re­fer to as a net sup­port for your propo­si­tion for a cash­less debit card for Hin­kler,” he said.

Poll par­tic­i­pants were given five op­tions; strongly sup­port, sup­port, neu­tral, op­pose or strongly op­pose.

The break­down of sup­port shows 37.6 per cent of those sur­veyed strongly sup­ported the card with an­other 15.9 per cent in sup­port.

Of those re­ject­ing the pro­posal, 19 per cent strongly op­posed the card with an­other 8.8 per cent op­posed.

Al­most one in five, or 18.7 per cent, were neu­tral to the idea.

“53.5 per cent, so over 50 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion of Hin­kler do sup­port, which is ob­vi­ously a ma­jor­ity,” Mr Stewart said.

In­ter­est­ingly males were more likely to back the card, with males rep­re­sent­ing 61.1 per cent of those in sup­port and com­pared to 46.5 per cent of fe­males.

Sur­vey par­tic­i­pants were also asked which po­lit­i­cal party they sup­port and Mr Stewart said Greens vot­ers were the most di­vi­sive.

“Of the Greens who do sup­port it, 34.6 per cent strongly sup­port it and of those who don’t sup­port it, 46.2 per­cent strongly op­pose it.

“The Greens vote is cut very dra­mat­i­cally.

“There’s very few peo­ple who are sit­ting on the fence, they ei­ther see the so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity side of it or they don’t like the im­pli­ca­tions of its role.”

Un­sur­pris­ingly LNP vot­ers made up the ma­jor­ity of sup­port­ers back­ing the card, with 73.4 per­cent of over­all sup­port­ers also sup­port­ing the party

‘‘

THE GREENS VOTE IS CUT VERY DRA­MAT­I­CALLY. THERE’S VERY FEW PEO­PLE WHO ARE SIT­TING ON THE FENCE, THEY EI­THER SEE THE SO­CIAL RE­SPON­SI­BIL­ITY SIDE OF IT OR THEY DON’T LIKE THE IM­PLI­CA­TIONS OF ITS ROLE. REACH­TEL SPOKESMAN JAMES STEWART

push­ing for the trial.

In con­trast just 27.1 per cent of La­bor vot­ers sup­ported the card, with 49.7 per cent op­pos­ing it.

While the fig­ures don’t ex­actly mir­ror Mem­ber for Hin­kler Keith Pitt’s re­peated claim that 75 per cent of peo­ple sup­port the Cash­less Card, the Cash­less Card advocate said the re­sults do show there was strong sup­port across the elec­torate.

“Less than 30 per cent of peo­ple op­pose the in­tro­duc­tion of the card,” he said.

“We’ve al­ways said it’s been strongly sup­ported, but it’s not about pol­i­tics.

“This is about try­ing to im­ple­ment a pol­icy, which is a dif­fi­cult choice to make, but one which we think is nec­es­sary based on the feed­back from front­line ser­vice providers.

“This is about the peo­ple of the elec­torate, in par­tic­u­lar those chil­dren, not be­ing pro­vided those ba­sic ne­ces­si­ties.”

Mr Pitt said his of­fice’s own fig­ures of 75 per cent in sup­port were based on a mail out to more than a third of the elec­torate with a very high re­sponse rate, as well as di­rect phone polling.

“We said its been strongly sup­ported and that’s now been sup­ported by what the NewsMail has done,” he said. Still to get through par­lia­ment, if ap­proved for the Hin­kler elec­torate, peo­ple aged 35 years and un­der on un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits or par­ent­ing pay­ments would be given the card and have 80 per cent of their govern­ment pay­ments placed on it.

“The leg­is­la­tion will go through par­lia­ment be­fore the win­ter break in the next few weeks, and we’ll go back and have a de­bate,” Mr Pitt said.

“I’d once again urge the La­bor Party to go back to their bi­par­ti­san position, this is pol­icy which is dif­fi­cult, but nec­es­sary.”

Photo: Amanda Coop

CARD PLAN: Hin­kler MP Keith Pitt and Hu­man Ser­vices Min­is­ter Alan Tudge in Her­vey Bay to dis­cuss the cash­less wel­fare card.

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