The Commonwealth Government is looking at the best possible ways to provide support to people, families and communities in locations where high levels of welfare dependence exist alongside high levels of harm related to drug and alcohol abuse.
The Cashless Debit Card trial was designed to find the best tool for supporting disadvantaged communities to decrease the level of consumption and effects of drugs, alcohol and gambling impacting on the health and wellbeing of communities, families and children.
The Cashless Debit Card trial has been operating in Ceduna, South Australia and the East Kimberley region of Western Australia since 15 March and 26 April 2016 respectively. As a result, the Income Management program in these regions was suspended.
On 14 March 2017, the Australian Government decided to extend the use of the Cashless Debit Card in Ceduna and the East Kimberley based on the results from an independent evaluation.
To see a copy of the Wave 1 Interim Evaluation Report, go to Wave 1 Interim Evaluation Report page.
From July 2017, the Cashless Debit Card will also be expanded to two new locations over two years, and Income Management will be extended for a further two years.
The expansion of the Cashless Debit Card demonstrates the Government’s commitment to a strong social welfare safety net, reducing social harm in areas with high levels of welfare dependency and supporting vulnerable people, families and communities.
Extending Income Management allows the Government to continue supporting income support recipients while also testing approaches for the delivery of restricted welfare payments going forward.
For Ministerial announcements regarding the Cashless Debit Card, go to alantudge.dss.gov.au