Monday, 26 September 2022
Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Repeal of Cashless Debit Card and Other Measures) Bill 2022; Second Reading
Thank you, Madam Chair, I would appreciate the silence, too. This truly worries me, because it is these communities that will be affected by the carelessness of those opposite. It also worries me because it looks like they're taking the same approach to their Voice to Parliament. They're asking Australians to make a change to our Constitution without providing us any detail of what those changes will be and without having any proper engagement or consultation. With such an important change, that would have far-reaching changes to the rest of society. If they approach the Voice to Parliament in a similar manner to which they have the cashless debit card, I fear that this government will implement changes that will hurt Australians even further.
The government now clearly recognise they've made a terrible error with this bill. Their own amendments will allow Cape York, the CDC trial sites, and those in the NT who voluntary transitioned from the BasicsCard to the CDC, to remain on that card.
As my friend and colleague, Senator Nampijinpa Price, said in a moving first speech, '…the removal of the cashless debit card, which allowed countless families on welfare to feed their children rather than seeing the money claimed by kinship demand from alcoholics, substance abusers and gamblers in their own family group.' It is time that those opposite have a good hard look at themselves.
The role of government is to improve the lives of people, not to actively make them worse. What the government is doing by pushing this bill through by any means necessary is making those most vulnerable worse off.