Extension and expansion of Cashless Debit Card - Budget 2017-18

This measure will extend and expand the Cashless Debit Card.

WA Goldfields region and QLD Federal Electorate of Hinkler announced as new locations. Read about Welfare Quarantining on the Department of Social Services website.

Description of the measure

This measure will extend and expand the Cashless Debit Card.

The Cashless Debit Card supports disadvantaged communities to reduce the consumption and effects of drugs, alcohol and gambling on the health and wellbeing of communities, families and children.

Under the Cashless Debit Card, 80 per cent of a person’s welfare payment is placed onto a debit card that cannot be used to buy alcohol or gambling products, or to withdraw cash. The remaining 20 per cent of a person’s welfare payment is placed into their normal bank account.

The Australian Government has agreed to continue the Cashless Debit Card in the sites of Ceduna, South Australia and Kununurra and Wyndham in the East Kimberley, Western Australia.

Working age income support recipients within the current locations will continue on the card. Age pensioners are able to volunteer to participate.

Building on the early positive results and community feedback of the Cashless Debit Card Trial, the Government has also agreed to expand the Cashless Debit Card into two regional communities in 2017-18. The Government will determine locations and start dates following community engagement and consultation.

The Department of Human Services will notify people when they have been placed onto the Cashless Debit Card. The card provider, Indue Ltd, will provide them with information on how to activate and use their card.

Questions and answers

Whom does this measure affect?

This measure will affect recipients of income support payments, who are of working age and residing in the existing Cashless Debit Card locations.

People of age pension age are not automatically included but may volunteer to participate.

The Government has not yet made a decision on which recipients will be placed on the card in the two new locations.

What date will this measure start and finish?

This measure commenced on 15 March 2017 and will end on 30 June 2018 for participants in Ceduna and the East Kimberley.

The start dates for the two new locations have not yet been decided.

Page last updated: 5 July 2018