‘Best form of welfare is a job’: Pitt responds to protests
AS PROTESTERS gathered outside his office on Friday Hinkler MP Keith Pitt was frank in his response.
"At a time when crops are rotting on the ground on local farms because farmers can't get the workforce they need, this very small group of people would rather put their efforts into organising a protest when they could be working," he said
"I will say once again, the best form of welfare is a job."
Hervey Bay's Kathryn Wilkes, from No Cashless Welfare Debit Card Australia, led the process.
She interviewed a Hervey Bay mother of four, who asked not to be identified, about the impact the card had on her.
The woman said she had moved from Brisbane and found that it was a struggle to co-ordinate rental payments and pay bills while on the card because of the way funds were managed by Indue.
Indue currently manages the Cashless Debit Card, which is being trialled in several communities around Australia, including the Hinkler electorate.
The introduction of the cashless card trial has had thousands of Hinkler residents placed on compulsory income management, with those on the card able to access 20 per cent of their welfare payment in cash.
The other 80 per cent is on an Indue card and participants cannot use the card to buy alcohol or gambling products.
Mr Pitt said anyone experiencing difficulties with the card could reach out for help.
"I will always respect the right for anyone to protest, however there is a process for issues about the Cashless Debit Card which is via the hotline 1800 252 604 or the shopfronts in Hervey Bay and Bundaberg," he said.