Media Release by Senator the Hon Anne Ruston

Temporary pause on new Cashless Debit Card trial participants

The Morrison Government is placing a temporary pause on placing new eligible participants on to the Cashless Debit Card in all existing trial sites.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the pause would help Services Australia to focus its resources on the critical task of processing new claims for social security payments during the fallout of the Coronavirus.

“The Government’s absolute priority is to make sure eligible Australians can access the financial support they need as we face devastating job losses across the country,” Minister Ruston said.

“We remain committed to the Cashless Debit Card trials which are aimed at reducing social harm associated with drugs, alcohol and gambling addiction and helping people to manage their finances.

“However, during this challenging time we must make difficult decisions about how to best prioritise Services Australia’s workforce.”

There will be no change to arrangements for existing Cashless Debit Card participants and support services will continue to operate business as usual.

The Cashless Debit Card operates in the East Kimberley, Ceduna, the Goldfields and Bundaberg/Hervey Bay.