Survey backs cashless welfare card

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

Results are out for the Town of Port Hedland’s alcohol management survey and they show strong support for a cashless debit card.

The survey was undertaken after council agreed to gather community feedback after opposing the further restrictions on take-away alcohol proposed WA Police.

The Federal Government’s cashless debit card program was the clear front runner in the survey with 87 per cent of survey participants supporting a roll out of the card in the Pilbara.

The cashless debit card is currently being trialled in the Kimberley and South Australia with Member for Durack Melissa Price pushing for the card to roll out in the Pilbara

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The card aims to reduce welfare-fulled domestic violence, antisocial behaviour and gambling by participants receiving 80 per cent of their welfare payment into a mainstream debit card account.

Of all survey participants, 64.2 per cent strongly agreed and agreed for the introduction of a take away alcohol management system to be managed by the Port Hedland Liquor Accord.

Mayor Camilo Blanco said the survey demonstrated trends in attitudes towards the issue and was not evidence of the broader community’s sentiment.

“The purpose of this survey was to gain a better understanding of people’s attitudes towards the issue, and now we have this we can use the results to guide how we carry out further consultations with targeted stakeholders,” he said.

“It is encouraging to see that there is a positive attitude towards the idea of tackling this issue as a community, instead of delegating the responsibility to one or two groups or agencies.”

Last week, Mr Blanco travelled to Canberra to meet with Human Services minister Alan Tudge to talk about the potential roll-out of the cashless debit card and additional funding and support from the Federal Government.

“It’s great I can go back to Minister Tudge with these results to show the critical need for the rollout of the cashless debit card,” he said.

“It will also highlight the seriousness of the alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and violence in our community.”

For more on the survey results, pick up the North West Telegraph next Wednesday.

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