Media Release by The Hon Dan Tehan MP

Cashless Debit Card achieving positive change in Ceduna

Joint Media Release with:

  • Mr Rowan Ramsey MP

The Cashless Debit card is improving the lives of people in Ceduna by reducing drug and alcohol consumption and gambling.

Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan today joined Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey to meet local leaders and see firsthand how the card was working.

“The Cashless Debit Card trial was co-designed with community leaders in Ceduna to best meet local needs,” Mr Tehan said.

“The card has helped decrease drug consumption and gambling by nearly 50 per cent and alcohol consumption by more than 40 per cent. Less money being spent on alcohol, drugs and gambling means there is more available to help families pay for the essentials – food, clothing and bills.”

Mr Ramsey praised the Ceduna community for taking responsibility and tackling local challenges head on.

“The people in Ceduna have forged a path for the rest of Australia. They had the courage to address the issues that were damaging people, families and the whole community,” Mr Ramsey said.

“Since Ceduna we have introduced the card in Kununurra and Kalgoorlie where we have also seen great results.

“We have been trying hard in the Parliament to extend the trial to Bundaberg but have been frustrated by Labor, the Greens and the Xenophon Senators. Their resistance to the opportunity to trial the card in a larger community with a far lower Indigenous population mix is irresponsible and bitterly disappointing.

“The welfare safety net is now helping people instead of being spent on alcohol, drugs and poker machines.”

Ceduna Mayor Allan Suter said the card had transformed Ceduna and he was happy with the trial progress to date.

“I’m glad Minister Tehan could come to Ceduna and see how the card has helped bring positive change, especially to the lives of children and mothers,” Mr Suter said.