'We will all be worse off': Petition against cashless card
"DON'T let Keith Pitt treat us like guinea pigs.”
That's the message from State Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson who has launched a change.org petition against the region becoming a site for the cashless welfare card scheme.
Under the scheme, some welfare recipients will have 80% of their benefits quarantined so it cannot be used to buy alcohol, gamble or withdraw cash.
It has been trailed at Ceduna and East Kimberley and in last week's Federal Budget the government announced it would be rolled out at two more locations.
Ms Donaldson said if Bundaberg was chosen as one of those places it would marginalise already vulnerable people and do nothing to create more jobs in the region.
"It will stifle economic growth and create an us and them town,” she said.
"Crime has increased in current trial areas and 49% of trial participants said it has made their lives worse.
"We will all be worse off if this goes ahead.”
So far more than 100 people have signed the petition, which is addressed to Mr Pitt and Human Services Minister Alan Tudge.
Signatories have been brutal in providing comments.
Justine Christerson said the scheme was degrading and a waste of taxpayer money.
"It's not what they make it out to be,” she said.
Anna Edmonds said it was the "worst idea ever”.
"Bundaberg has enough struggles this will only demoralise and disempower people,” she said.
Coral Storm said being on unemployment benefits was demeaning enough as is.
"I don't believe in this government continually kicking the poor, the unemployed ... in the guts all the time.”
Dianne Smith said the cashless card represented an unfair method of government control
"Addiction is a health issue, not a crime.”
Stephen Berry said Bundaberg deserved better than to be "mugged by LNP lunacy”.
Click here to sign the petition.