• The Cashless Welfare Card expansion will see residents in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay subject to income restrictions. (AAP)
Bundaberg and Hervey Bay look set to be the next recipients of the the Cashless Welfare Card trial.
By
Madeline Hayman-Reber

Source:
NITV News
11 Sep 2018 - 5:34 PM  UPDATED 11 Sep 2018 - 5:34 PM

The Cashless Debit Card trial looks set to expand into Queensland's Hinkler electorate after key legislation was passed in the senate.

It will see some residents in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay subject to income restrictions.

Those under 36 years receiving Newstart, Youth Allowance, or parenting payments will be part of the trial, which will see 80 per cent of their government income diverted to the controversial card.

Independent MP Tim Storer gave crucial support for the bill, which passed the upper house 33-32 on Tuesday, in return for the government backing his amendment to put a new independent inquiry on the trials.

During questioning, Manager of Government Business in the Senate Mitch Fifield took questions on various issues, however many questions were taken on notice prior to the vote.

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Western Australia Labor Senator Sue Lines asked whether or not the Coalition was aware of the fact that the federal president of the National Party, Larry Anthony was co-owner of SAS Consulting.

She claimed SAS Consulting were the consultants to Indue, the financial institution who will be providing the welfare cards. Mr Fifield took Ms Line's questions on notice.

"As we've seen with Dutton and the au pairs, it's okay for them to do favours for their mates," Ms Lines later told NITV News.

Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services Linda Burney confirmed Labor's objection to the new trial sites and a national roll-out. 

"The nonsense that this is somehow going to address family violence, that this is going to address the many ills that affects so many communities is simply not borne out," she said. 

Despite Labor's objection, Ms Burney said her party will not stand in the way of a community wanting the card. 

"If a community truly wants this particular measure than we will not stand in the way of that community, but there has to be demonstrated consultation and demonstrated agreement," she said. 

"We know for a fact that there has not been adequate consultation in Bundaberg or the Fraser Coast." 

Labor initially supported existing trials in Ceduna and the East Kimberley. 

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said the card will push people in the Hinkler region further into poverty. 

“We are talking about young people, people struggling to find work and people on Parenting Payments, the most of whom are young women," she said.

“People in the region will today be stressed about how they will get by with being denied access to cash. How they will be able to buy second hand goods and clothes for the kids, shop at the market, and make sure Indue actually pays their bills.

“The evidence from academics, experts and the Auditor General is clear, the evidence isn’t there to justify continuing with the card, yet the government and some of the cross-bench have gone ahead."

Cashless welfare cards have already been introduced in the South Australian Ceduna region, and Western Australian regions of Goldfields and the East Kimberley.

The bill is expected to pass the lower house.