Monday, 12 February 2018
Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card) Bill 2017; In Committee
I want to respond just briefly to some of the comments that Senator Siewert made. Senator Siewert, the cashless debit card is implemented only in communities that support it. Support for the card is measured through extensive consultation with interested communities. So far, consultation has covered all relevant stakeholder groups, including potential program participants. The initial trials were designed and implemented in close consultation with community leaders. I'm advised that approximately 300 consultations were held in the Ceduna region and 110 in the East Kimberley prior to the initial rollout in early 2016. Those consulted included community members, Indigenous leaders, service providers, police, and local and state government agencies. Consultation is conducted on an ongoing basis in both Ceduna and the East Kimberley, and extensive consultation was undertaken prior to announcing the expansion of the card to the Goldfields. Between May and December 2017 in the Goldfields region over 300 consultations were held with over 86 organisations, and there were 10 public information sessions. Consultation will be ongoing in the Goldfields in preparation for implementation.