The member for Curtin, Kate Chaney, owes the people of her electorate an explanation as to how she would have voted in Federal Parliament on the Bill to repeal the Cashless Debit Card.
Ms Chaney was absent from Parliament due to illness when the vote took place, but on this important issue she should make full disclosure.
The other so-called Teal independents all voted in favour of the Labor legislation which will repeal the card. Given Ms Chaney’s close relationship to the Teals she should come clean on this issue.
If she agrees with the view of the other Teals she should then explain to her electorate why she thinks the card should be repealed.
My colleague, Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, eloquently set out in her first speech in the Senate the benefits felt by communities where the Cashless Debit Card has been trialled.
As Senator Nampijinpa Price said, abolishing the Cashless Debit Card is an appalling example of “legislation pushed by left-wing elites guaranteed to worsen the lives of Indigenous people.”
The purpose of the cashless debit card was to prevent income support recipients from spending a significant portion of their payments on potentially harmful goods such as alcohol, illegal drugs and gambling.
Senator Price said the Cashless Debit Card “allowed countless families on welfare to feed their children rather than seeing their money claimed by kinship demand from alcoholics, substance abusers and gamblers in their family group.”
I also note the comments today of the Patrick Hill, Shire President of Laverton, a Western Australian Cashless Debit Card trial site. Mr Hill asked for an emergency contingent of police officers and paramedics in anticipation of a surge in violence when thousands of residents are taken off the card.
Ms Chaney needs to make her position on this issue clear – that’s what being a member of Parliament is all about.