Council says no to cashless welfare card

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

The Town of Port Hedland council may finally take an official stance on the cashless welfare card this week, a late agenda item has revealed.

In a notice of motion put forward by Cr Julie Arif, the council will decide tomorrow night whether they will adopt a formal position on the introduction of the controversial card in Hedland.

The motion comes on the back of months of consultation between Mayor Camilo Blanco with State and Federal members in support of the implementation of the card in the Pilbara.

In the expansion of the controversial program, the Pilbara was bypassed as one of several WA trial sites earlier this year after it was revealed the card would be rolled out in the Goldfields.

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If the council chooses not to support the cashless welfare card, as recommended in the officer’s report, they will join Bloodwood Tree, Yamatiji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation and the Yule River on-country bush meeting who all do not support the introduction of the card in the Pilbara.

However, in an Alcohol Management Survey performed by the Town of Port Hedland 72 per cent of people surveyed said they would support the introduction of the cashless welfare card.

If the council adopts the motion, it will ensure the position is clear in all media releases, meetings and delegations.

There is also an option for the council to adopt an official position of support and to lobby the Federal Government for its implementation in Port Hedland as well as an option not to adopt an official position.

Council will meet tomorrow night at 5.30pm at the Civic Centre in Port Hedland.

To find out more, pick up the North West Telegraph next Wednesday, November 29.

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