INCOMING: Bundaberg's Peter Feerick holding a letter he received about the Cashless Debit Card.
INCOMING: Bundaberg's Peter Feerick holding a letter he received about the Cashless Debit Card. Mikayla Haupt

Those going on cashless card label it 'disastrous'

SOME of Bundy's most hard-hit residents will have to make sure they're managing their budgets well if they want to enjoy a meal at a favourite restaurant once the Cashless Debit Card rolls out next month.

Fifteen of Bundy's restaurants, including the Old Bundy Tavern and Moore Park Beach Tavern are now on Indue's blocked merchants list - which means card holders wanting to use their cashless card to pay for a meal will have the transaction automatically blocked.

Card holders looking to buy a meal at a business that sells alcohol or gambling products will have their card declined, and will instead have to use cash for the purchase.

Once on the cashless card, welfare recipients will only be able to withdraw 20 per cent of their welfare income in cash.

The remaining 80 per cent can be accessed just like a regular debit card, but not at banned or excluded merchants.

Bundaberg law graduate Peter Feerick isn't happy after he received a letter confirming he would get a card next year.

He said it would be disastrous for others in unstable situations.

"All the bills are piling up now, and it adds to the question of what the next year will look like if you are someone going on that card, and for what reason they're being put on it," Mr Feerick said.

"Let's say you want to have a night out, you go to pay but the card is declined, you have those funds but you can't use them and you're asking permission to use them, even though you haven't drunk alcohol and have just had a steak and chips.

"Its not like you're doing it every night, you have to budget to give yourself a treat every now and then, and they're saying we can't even do that."

Mr Feerick said that as a job seeker, who doesn't gamble or do drugs, like a lot of other residents, he feels he's been lumped into a system that will only hinder, not help.

"All of the criteria for me to be on the card, I don't meet ... is this going to do anything to help me?" he said.

"What is more beneficial to us; putting money towards training, or putting people on this card because it's claimed to fix a problem?



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