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CASHLESS DEBIT CARD RESULTS SHOW SUCCESS

 

PRESS RELEASE

Cashless Debit Card – Results Show Success

 

Perth, 14 March 2017

 

The Minderoo Foundation welcomes the second round of results published by the Government in the Cashless Debit Card (CDC) Evaluation Report released earlier today.

The CDC was developed through the Creating Parity report, and subsequent ongoing negotiations with the Australian banking industry to make it more efficient.

Evidence from the report shows that the Card has greatly reduced rates of substance abuse and gambling in the two trials sites of Ceduna and the East Kimberley. 25% of card users reported drinking less alcohol, and that overall alcohol consumption and drug use in their communities was down. 27% of participants also noted a reduction in gambling.

The observations from non-participant community members were even more positive, with 41% indicating a reduction in alcohol consumption, and 46% highlighting that the trial had improved the lives of people in the community.

“These results are a great achievement and the elders who had the courage to champion the Card should feel justly proud. The Card was a success when it improved the life of a single drug or alcohol addicted person. This report exceeds all expectations and shows that over 100 people are leading healthier and more productive lives.”

 “I call on the Government to exercise similar courage and introduce the CDC to other vulnerable communities, and those aged 17 and under on welfare payments” said Minderoo Chairman Andrew Forrest.

 

Background.

The CDC aims to reduce social harm caused by access to welfare cash payments and sees participants receive 80% of their welfare payment onto a debit card that cannot be used to purchase alcohol, gambling products, or withdraw cash. The other 20% is deposited into a standard bank account, as usual. The 12-month trial of the CDC started in March 2016, and is set to conclude later this year.

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 Media Contact: Tania Hudson 0439 247 227