News and op-eds

Our right to know data for cashless card trial

October 21, 2019

The people of Bundaberg have a right to know about the actual results of the Cashless Debit Card trial, Labor says. Labor Senator for Queensland Anthony Chisholm is calling for the Morrison Government to release data about the trial. Sen Chisholm has called on Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Rushton to provide a more detailed response about the 700 people no longer on the cashless card in the Hinkler region, He said the government’s response, to date, was: “It would be an unreasonable diversion of resources to prepare this data.” Mr Chisholm claims the government is refusing to disclose the data as it may reflect poorly on the trial. “It could appear that the Government is reluctant to acquire this information due to the fact that the data might also show that this trial has not had as great an impact as the Government would like to claim,” Mr Chisholm said. “When comparing the decline in the number of Newstart and Youth Allowance recipients over the same period in a similar community Gympie there is no noticeable difference in decline. “Gympie experienced a 6.9% reduction between December 2018 and June 2019 compared to 6.8% in Bundaberg.” Mr Chisholm said the Australian National Audit Office had previously criticised the government’s “approach to monitoring and evaluation” as inadequate. The NewsMail attempted to contact the Minister’s office yesterday, but was unable to get a response.

First Published in NewsMail on 21 October 2019