'Listening tour' hears Bay DV rates in decline on card trial
MORE than 1100 Cashless Debit Card participants have inquired about the opt-out process although none have been finalised.
Statistics obtained by the Chronicle from the Department of Social Services revealed as of September 6, a total of 1120 welfare recipients across the four trial sites had inquired about the financial management exit process.
The controversial program was brought to the attention of new Queensland senator Gerard Rennick as part of his listening tour last month.
Mr Rennick visited Hervey Bay on the last day of the two-week tour where he interviewed regional Queenslanders about issues within their communities.
Mr Rennick said although he was looking from the outside in, ultimately he supported the card.
"One of the conversations I had was with a local pastor who said since the cashless card has been implemented, the rate of domestic violence has dropped and the rate of people visiting the church's' emergency food banks has dropped," he said.
"According to him, it is a success and I have got to admit I had not thought of the impact limiting access to alcohol would have on domestic violence.
"While I believe it is not always easy, I try not to judge people, the money paid out to people is from hard-working tax payers."