CASHLESS CARD: Kim Jade is not supportive of the cashless card.
CASHLESS CARD: Kim Jade is not supportive of the cashless card. Mike Knott BUN230818KIM1

Mum on welfare offers alternate solution to card

KIM Jade understands the premise behind the cashless card.

She knows Bundaberg cannot continue down the road it's heading.

Unemployment rates are stuck in the double digits, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics last month confirming 11.4 per cent of Wide Bay residents were unemployed in July.

The same goes for the Wide Bay's employment to population ratio, which last month was sitting at 45.9 per cent.

But despite these cries for help, Ms Jade does not agree with the passing of the Cashless Debit Card trial, which will see 6700 welfare recipients in Hinkler affected.

"While I do understand the concept, I don't think it's a good idea for everyone," she told the NewsMail.

"I am on Centrelink and I will be affected. People like me who don't do drugs will still be affected."

Ms Jade proposed recipients be tested for drugs and those found with an illegal substance in their system be put on the card.

"I don't think everyone should suffer," she said.

The mother of one said she'd been on support for about eight months.

"It's extremely hard (finding work)," she said.

The card will be rolled out by the Department of Social Services as soon as this year to Newstart, Youth Allowance (Jobseeker) and Parenting Payment recipients aged 35 and under.

Recipients will not be able to use the card to buy alcohol or gambling products.

The card also limits cash withdrawals to 20 per cent of a person's welfare payment.

By the numbers

  • Bundaberg unemployment rate: 8.9% (2016 - PHIDU)
  • Wide Bay unemployment rate: 11.4% (July 2018 - ABS)
  • Wide Bay employment to population ratio: 45.9% (July 2018 - ABS)
  • Total unemployed people in Wide Bay: 11,400 (July 2018 - ABS)
  • Unemployment rate in Wide Bay Burnett: 14.9% (2018 - State of the Regions)
  • Bundaberg Youth Allowance recipients: 1472 (2017 - ABS)
  • Bundaberg Parenting Payment recipients: 2239 (2017 - ABS)
  • Bundaberg Newstart recipients: 5256 (2017 - ABS)
  • Rate (and number) of people with one of four health risk factors (smoking, drinking high amounts of alcohol, obesity or very low level of exercise): 84% (60,976) (2014-15 - PHIDU)
  • Monthly rate of drug offences in Central police region: 135 per 100,000 people (July 2018 - QPS)
  • Monthly rate of possess drug offences in Central police region: 63 per 100,000 people (July 2018 - QPS)
  • Monthly rate of produce drug offences in Central police region: 3.7 per 100,000 people (July 2018 - QPS)
  • Monthly rate of other drug offences in Central police region: 64 per 100,000 people (July 2018 - QPS)


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