Hinkler MP Keith Pitt and Social Services Minister Dan Tehan in Bundaberg.
Hinkler MP Keith Pitt and Social Services Minister Dan Tehan in Bundaberg. Jim Alouat

Minister vows he won't give up on cashless card

SOCIAL Services Minister Dan Tehan has urged Senate crossbenchers to visit Bundaberg before making a decision on the rollout of the Cashless Debit Card in the region.

Mr Tehan joined Hinkler MP Keith Pitt on Friday to reinforce the government's position on the controversial card.

The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card) passed the House of Representatives on Tuesday but has stagnated in the Senate.

The Nick Xenophon Team's three senators will be voting against the legislation, agreeing with Labor that there was not enough evidence to justify expanding the scheme.

Mr Tehan said one of the issues raised by the crossbenchers was about the modelling.

"Is the modelling and evaluation that is taking place thorough enough,” he said.

"We have said we will come back to them on that and provide all the details around that.”

But Mr Tehan said any member of parliament, who has an interest in the Cashless Debit Card, should get on the ground and hear from the community first-hand.

"It's important to consult with the community,” he said

"That's what I will be doing while I am here,” he said.

Labor has continued to suggest not enough community consultation has taken place in the Hinkler electorate about the card, which Mr Tehan denied.

"There has been a lot of consultation,” he said.

"I've only been here for a short period of time and people are telling me that there has been wonderful consultation.”

Mr Tehan accused Labor of political grandstanding.

"I would be happy if the Labor Party would drop its ideological position and supported the government,” he said.

"This should be something that is completely bipartisan.

"This is about helping the most disadvantaged in our society and in particular children.”

Mr Tehan said negotiations with the crossbench had been constructive.

"They understand that where it has been trialled they are seeing a reduction in alcohol use, a reduction in drug use, a reduction in gambling,” he said.



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