Welfare Reform

The Australian Government is considering the best possible ways to support people, families and communities in locations where high levels of welfare dependence co-exist with high levels of social harm underpinned by alcohol, drug use and gambling. The Cashless Debit Card has been designed to help disadvantaged communities decrease the level of consumption of drugs, alcohol and gambling which impacts on the health and wellbeing of communities, families and children.

The Cashless Debit Card program commenced on 15 March 2016 in the Ceduna region, South Australia, 26 April 2016 in the East Kimberley region, Western Australia, 26 March 2018 in the Goldfields region, Western Australia, and on 29 February 2019 in the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay region, Queensland.

More Information on evaluations.

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.

For more information, contact the Cashless Debit Card hotline on 1800 252 604 or send an email to cashlessdebitcard@dss.gov.au.

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