Monday, 12 February 2018
Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card) Bill 2017; In Committee
Labor has a number of amendments that we want to propose to the bill. They are contained in sheet 8354. In relation to the amendments, we believe that there is insufficient evidence at this stage to show that the existing trials in Ceduna and the East Kimberley are working.
The Senate inquiry heard that the ORIMA evaluations of the trial are unreliable and no empirical judgements can be made on the basis of the information collected. In its own consultations, Labor heard mixed results with some participants in Ceduna and the East Kimberley trials finding the cashless debit card to be useful while others thought it had not made any improvement to their lives.
In addition to the poor quality of the evaluation, Labor believes that the Ceduna and East Kimberley trials have not been running long enough to form solid conclusions about the success of the trials. Labor supported the initiation of trials in Ceduna and in the East Kimberley, and supports them continuing for a further year to allow more time to reliably determine whether they have been successful.