SAYING NO: A group gathers outside the Fraser Coast Regional Council chambers in Tavistock St, Hervey Bay, to protest the introduction of the cashless welfare card in the Hinkler region.
SAYING NO: A group gathers outside the Fraser Coast Regional Council chambers in Tavistock St, Hervey Bay, to protest the introduction of the cashless welfare card in the Hinkler region. Amanda Coop

Protests over cashless welfare card continue

THE introduction of the cashless welfare card will cause more problems than it solves, say residents opposed to the card.

Hervey Bay's Pip Dyer was one of those who stopped to talk to protesters holding a rally outside the Fraser Coast Council chambers on Tuesday.

The protest was the latest in a series of events organised by a group of residents opposed to the potential rollout of the cashless card across the Hinkler electorate.

Ms Dyer said the government was "mad” for even considering the introduction of the card, and that it would escalate social problems, not solve them.

"A lot of people feel it will increase crime,” she said.

Ms Dyer said she had worked in both child and adult welfare in Manly, NSW, for a number of years and felt the card would take away the liberties of good people, while failing to address problems such as drug and alcohol abuse.

"People who have drug addictions are not going to just stop taking drugs,” she said.

Instead, she felt, break-ins and crime would become more prevalent as addicts whose finances were cut off would become more desperate.

"The government needs to address the drug problems here,” she said.

"Get them into rehabilitation, whether they want it or not.

"There are a lot of good people here that will be punished (by the introduction of the card).

"They're taking away people's liberties, their rights.”

Hervey Bay resident Jenni Cameron, who was among the small rally group on Tuesday, said many people had tooted their support while driving past, and others had stopped to sign the group's petition.

She said those opposed to the card were just like anyone else.

"We're everyday people who don't want our independence taken away,” she said.

The group intends to organise more events around the Hinkler electorate.

"We're not going to be serial pests,” said one of the rally organisers, Kathryn Wilkes.

"But we're going to be popping up around town.

"We need to keep this in the public eye and raise awareness.”

She said the employment of a security guard outside the council chambers was "completely unnecessary”.

"We will not trespass anywhere,” she said.

"We don't want to be seen as a violent mob. We're not.”



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