'Dole capital': Cashless card puts Bundy in media spotlight
WITH Bundaberg labelled the "dole capital of Australia” by A Current Affair in their report of the Cashless Debit Card roll-out, Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt has hit back saying it's a necessary policy to make a difference.
Mr Pitt, in speaking with local media today, said the Cashless Debit Card would work hand-in-hand with the Regional Deal for Bundy.
The Deal will bring the three tiers of government together to co-ordinate efforts to drive development of the area.
"I can't control what the media says or what statements they make,” Mr Pitt said.
"This is about ensuring we implement a very tough social policy and at the same time, through things like the Regional Deal, we drive our regional economy and we deliver more jobs.
"It's (Cashless Debit Card) a tough but necessary policy.”
When asked if Mr Pitt considered Bundaberg as the "dole capital of Australia”, he said he thought it was a "statement made by the media in terms of 'I just want to sensationalise something I can't control'”.
"I want us to be the best possible community in regional Australia,” he said.
"I want our kids to have opportunities when they finish school, and I want them to have opportunities for apprenticeships and traineeships ...”
The region has been the focus on numerous national media reports in recent days with the roll-out of the card.
Asked his thoughts on the dole capital label, Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey said Bundaberg was the "best place in Australia to live, work, invest and raise a family”. "We have a Goldilocks climate, affordable housing and wonderful people who care about our community,” Cr Dempsey said.
"Council is encouraging sustainable development to create jobs and we're fostering a culture of innovation.
"The Regional Deal offers a great opportunity to entice much-needed federal and state government investment.”