Mining magnate Andrew Forrest has released a radical report on welfare and employment to end disparity for Australia’s most marginalised people.
“This review is a comprehensive and holistic approach to ending disparity In Australia,” said Mr Forrest.
The Creating Parity Report makes recommendations for the Federal Government to consider when reviewing Australia’s welfare system.
“Tony Abbot said ‘if you’ve got the courage, go do it,” and ten months later that’s what we’ve done.”
Mr Forrest has proposed the implementation of a restricted, cashless welfare-card.
“We need to move out of welfare quicksand and into an independent life,” he said.
Under the new reform, all welfare recipients - other than age or veterans' pensioners - would have their payments put into a savings account that could be drawn on only with the card.
The card will restrict spending to purchases that sustain and support a healthy lifestyle.
“You’re going to have to use your savings if you’re going to buy alcohol,” said Mr Forrest.
It would be programmed to block cash withdrawals and the purchase of alcohol, gambling, illicit services and gift cards at the point of sale.
A Creating-Parity website would monitor efforts to end welfare dependence and close the disadvantage gap.
Mr Forrest also wants all families receiving family tax benefits to have their access to the money directly linked to their children's school attendance.
“Keeping children out of school is actually a form of child abuse,” he said.
In an interview with NITV News, Mr Forrest said Prime Minister Tony Abbot was working on an ‘implementation team’ and that community consultation will be conducted.
He will travel to Nhulunbuy this weekend to launch his latest welfare reform on Yolngu country at the annual Garma Festival.