ROLL OUT: Keith Pitt and Allan Tudge announce the Cashless Card for Bundaberg.
ROLL OUT: Keith Pitt and Allan Tudge announce the Cashless Card for Bundaberg. Craig Warhurst

DSS data reveals Bundy is nation's Newstart hotspot

IS BUNDABERG really the "dole capital of Australia”?

According to the latest Department of Social Services Demographics data, it is.

This week A Current Affair labelled Bundaberg "the dole capital of Australia” as the region was thrust into the national media spotlight following the introduction of the Cashless Debit Card.

And while some claimed ACA's label was incorrect or unfair, the most recent data indicates it's accurate.

The data from June showed while there are more than 727,000 people across the country receiving Newstart allowances, Bundaberg took out the top spot by postcode with 4196 people receiving payments.

Just 10 places behind Bundaberg sat Hervey Bay, with 3375 residents recorded as being on Newstart.

Bundaberg was marginally ahead of Sydney's western suburbs.

In Childers the total was 455. The data also found there were 843 people receiving Youth Allowance (Other) and 354 receiving Youth Allowance who were students or apprentices.

The process of transferring Hinkler residents aged between 18 and 35 who receive Newstart, Youth Allowance (job seeker) or a Parenting Payment (partnered and single) on to the Cashless Debit Card began on Tuesday.

A Department of Social Services spokesman told the NewsMail as the roll-out of the card commenced, the government had "allocated more than $1 million in additional funding over two years to complement support already in place”.

Local support services such as Impact Community Services will from next week be providing "technical support” for card participants to help transition onto the card.

Centrelink will also have in place a CDC "shop front” available.

"Additional support services will be determined following feedback from key stakeholders and monitoring the impact of the Cashless Debit card on services already available,” the spokesperson said.

On Thursday Hinkler MP Keith Pitt confirmed a drop in youth unemployment from 27 per cent in December 2017 to 20 per cent in November across the region.