Thursday, 12 November 2020
Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Continuation of Cashless Welfare) Bill 2020; Second Reading
The original question was that this bill be now read a second time. To this the honourable member for Barton has moved as an amendment that all words after 'That' be omitted with a view to substituting other words. If it suits the House, I will state the question in the form that the words proposed to be omitted stand part of the question.
It is a great pleasure to rise on the Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Continuation of Cashless Welfare) Bill 2020, a bill that I support very strongly. The bill in its original form will make permanent the cashless debit card trials that have been carried out in Ceduna, East Kimberley, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, the Northern Territory and Cape York. This will impact 25,000 people who are currently on income management and 12½ thousand people who are already benefitting from the cashless debit card.
I strongly support this bill because it makes the lives of people from low-income environments and disadvantaged backgrounds better. It makes it possible for them to access the Australian dream. It makes the promise of this nation and of this parliament real for them and for us. This bill is not about saving money; it is about saving the lives of those people who have very little and have very few opportunities in our nation. The passage of this bill will say to all Australians that this parliament cares about you, believes in you and wants you to have the same opportunities and the same chances as the most prosperous in our nation.
This parliament should consent to the view held by all liberals through all ages: each of us together can make a dent in the universe. It is the ideal of the boundless capacity that every person has, that every Australian is born with. It is encouraging, it is universal and it is empowering. It leaves us with hope and a zest for the future. The alternative from the aggressive Left is enslaving and divisive. It says that we have no control over our lives, that our challenges are caused by others, that our story is not part of a broader human one but a slice of an ever-smaller and smaller identity group—a disempowered slice. None of us should settle for that. This parliament should not foist it upon those who entrusted us with the job of enabling their dreams and aspirations. The best the regressive Left can offer Australians is a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next; a government-planned life; a country where everything is free but us.