OWN EXPENSES: Cashless Debit Card protesters say they're not funded by Labor.
OWN EXPENSES: Cashless Debit Card protesters say they're not funded by Labor. Mikayla Haupt

LETTER: Cashless card protesters not paid by Labor

Card protests

IN LAST week's letters to the editor (Guardian, 16/11), Denise Fox insinuated that the Say No to the Cashless Card "activists" were paid to attend the weekly events and that the group have been displaying banners supporting the Labor party.

These and other claims made are not true.

Not a single cent has ever been given to anyone who chooses to attend any of the "say no to the cashless card" events, nor do we have any of our out-of-pocket expenses covered by anyone other than ourselves.

We have all given up our time freely and pay for our own travel costs to and from these weekly events.

Those of us who wish to own a purple shirt which says "No to the cashless welfare card" or "Stop the card" do so with our own money.

As for the banner showing support for the Labor Party, it is possible that one we have used on the odd occasion could be construed as political but it is, in fact, one from the Council of Unions, not the Labor Party.

We have a few signs from the teachers union as well as home-made signs.

We are in no way sponsored or financially supported by any unions or political parties.

We do, however, have union support for our cause.

As concerned community members, we have gathered together to increase awareness within our region about the Indue Cashless Debit Card and of the implications for those who will be directly and indirectly impacted by its introduction.

We have done this by providing copies of the Indue terms and conditions, the current legislation and reports pertaining to existing trial sites as well as amendment legislation that is progressing through parliament which will allow for the future expansion of this program, as the minister sees fit.

We have also made available a petition for those who wish to express their rejection of the Cashless Debit Card, with more than 1000 signatures being gathered to date.

Over the past four months we have had hours of discussions with people in our community who are deeply concerned about the removal of rights to financial control of their money, and the lack of purchase options they will have with the limiting of available cash even though the majority have done nothing wrong.

They do not believe that the card can or will stop money being spent on addictions, and are concerned that people with addictions will instead turn to crime.

A targeted approach to case management and a pathway to treatment, recovery and life after the card is needed, along with sufficiently funded wrap-around support services.

If the millions of dollars that will be given to Indue to income manage 6700 people in our region was instead used in this targeted fashion, the objectives would be achieved more effectively with less collateral damages.




Top job, council

I WOULD like to give my appreciation to to the Bundaberg Regional Council for finally resolving the long-term issue of an open drain running along Zielke Avenue near Kalkie State School.

It has been a dangerous problem for children alighting from their parents' cars when arriving at school.

This has now been resolved by completely enclosing the full length of the drain with twin culverts.

What was a dangerous eyesore is now a safe and nicely landscaped area.

While this work was being carried out I was very impressed by the professionalism of the foreman Peter and his team.




Air services

AIRLINES are cutting back services to Bundaberg and the Fraser Coast due to a lack of patronage.

Bundaberg and the Fraser Coast regions each have about 100,000 people to service their respective airport.

It appears that 100,000 people is insufficient to sustain a reasonable airline service to a community.

This reduction in air services has a negative impact on tourism, business and freight.

The only way to attract more air services is to increase the population to create the demand.

The linking of the Fraser Coast to Bundaberg by the construction of the Buxton Bridge and the consequential significant reduction in travel time between the regions will increase the effective catchment to each airport to 200,000 people.

The unification of Wide Bay by the building of the link road through Buxton to Goodwood will allow a distribution of air services between Bundaberg and Hervey Bay, providing greater flexibility of travel times and destinations, perhaps including direct flights to North Queensland.

Just another reason why the completion of this vital coastal link is so important to the Wide bay region.



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