First official cashless card meeting for Hinkler to be held
THE first government-run public information sessions on the Cashless Debit Card in Bundaberg is being held tomorrow.
Department of Social Services staff will provide information and answer questions from 2-4pm at the Civic Centre Supper Room in Bundaberg.
On Wednesday. they'll be running a session from 9-11am at the Hervey Bay Community Centre.
The forums will be the first official public meetings about the card since the Federal Government announced in this year's budget it would be rolled out at two more locations and Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt put forward his electorate.
They follow yesterday's Hands in the Sand protest in Hervey Bay, where 5000 paper hands placed in the beach, and protests in Bundy on Saturday and Friday.
Labor's candidate for Hervey Bay, Adrian Tantari, joined in, planting some of his own hands with the group.
Organiser Kathryn Wilkes said the hands were a sign of how many people would be affected by the card's roll-out in the region.
"For the group in particular, it draws attention to the fact so many people would be affected by the card," Ms Wilkes said.
"The thought of losing your autonomy and choices, the threat of having your financial life turned upside down ... is a very big concern for people," she said.
"We're sick of being branded as bludgers and rorters.
"We want to draw attention to the fact the card, should it come in, will affect so many."
Under the cashless card, some welfare recipients will have 80% of their income quarantined so it cannot be use to buy alcohol, gamble or withdraw cash.
Government advertisements about today's meetings say that people can email questions about the card to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the Department of Social Services Cashless Debit Card hotline on 1800 252 604.
Meanwhile, opponents of the Cashless Debit Card in Hervey Bay have opened a Cashless Debit Card Drop-In Centre at Shop 4/33, Main St, Pialba.
They're holding their own information session tomorrow from 11am-4pm.