WATCHING: Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien says he is watching the
WATCHING: Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien says he is watching the "cashless card” experiment in the neighbouring Hinkler electorate with interest. Alistair Brightman

Social media explodes over cashless card suggestion for Gympie

THE "cashless" welfare card, which would quarantine some government payments to stop them being spent on gambling or drugs, has split Gympie Times readers into passionately differing camps.

Facebook reaction exploded after Gympie region's Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien said he was closely watching the performance of the card, which is currently on trial in the neighbouring electorate of Hinkler, which includes Bundaberg and Hervey Bay.

Latest available figures show nearly 200 comments and replies.

The card would affect 80 per cent of payments to single parents and unemployed people under 35, preventing the money being spent on gambling, illegal drugs or alcohol.

The remaining 20 per cent of payments would be in cash.

MEMBER for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien has secured some solid Federal Budget wins for the northern Sunshine Coast.
MEMBER for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien has secured some solid Federal Budget wins for the northern Sunshine Coast.

Reader reaction ranged from fears of "Big Brother" government control of people's lives to enthusiastic support.

One "No" comment alleged a plan to roll out cashless welfare to all government payment recipients, including aged pensions "eventually."

Another said each card would cost $12,000 a year to administer, cancelling out any net welfare cost saving.

"Yes" comments included arguments that it should be accompanied by random drug testing.

One unexpected view was that welfare recipients would benefit because they could not be robbed.

Another said pensioners were not required to look for work and were therefore entitled to spend their money as they saw fit.

Here are some responses:

Geoff Lobegeier: "100% agree and the recipient should be drug and alcohol tested before receiving these payments, I have to be breath tested every time I go onto site to receive my wage"

Lyn Summers: "When you choose to work there..."

Mel McDonald: "I have no problem with this, it's such a privilege to live in a country where the goverment provides such assistance."

Dwayne Wenzel: Unemployed yes. There are people who have worked hard all there life and yes they be on the pensioners only to go on a cashless card I say no.

Amanda Evans: For all those saying yes, I hope you will be self funded retirees because the government want it rolled out to put all payments on it. Including aged pensions eventually. They have even spoken about wages going onto it as well."

Scotty Adam Amanda Evans: "Can you provide the documented details to show where the government has said it will be rolled out to every single person on welfare?"

Wayne Wilson: "The Say No Seven page can. It doesn't matter. Rolling it out to anyone is a bad idea."

Michele Usher Amanda Evans: "Self funded retirees wont be safe for much longer. ALL ASSETS will soon be included homes as well, and that will really put the fox in the chicken coop."

Bron Nie: "And how people think all the people who receive welfare are young dole bludgers, when the biggest cohort is over 55s"

Chris Evans: "This is just a way for the government to control us."

Russell Mayo: "You were all warned before the last federal election that was the plan. This has always been the plan. Have a look at who is making money out of it and which Parties get donations. Do a google search on "Anthony" and "indue Card". Funny how people want to believe nonsense like the death duties lies but wouldn't believe this. No good grisling now.

Catherine Marney: "Russell Mayo spot on!!!"

Russell Mayo: "Yes the ALP Candidate and highly decorated Australian Army Officer, Jason Scanes , pointed this all out to the electorate in the run up to the election. All they cared about was Franking Credit refunds and lies about death duties..."

Chrissy Phoenix: "People are selfish. They don't care until it affects them."

Sara Powter: "YES! we're in a similar sort of unemployment area - I with they would bring it in here too!"

Wayne Wilson: "How do you think it will help Sara?"

Amanda Evans: "And they want all welfare recipients on this card. Do you believe all pensioners should also be on this. They are on welfare payments for reasons that are nothing to do with having to look for work."

Anitta Fea: "Considering the fact that it costs $12000 a year in admin costs for each card, I see no benefit whatsoever to the cashless card.

Margaret Walker Anitta Fea totally agree.

Madonna Waugh: "Game of mates! Powerful people making vulnerable people feel helpless."

Michael Gomersall: "Great idea. Hope this catches on for all unemployment benefits."

Chrissy Phoenix: "They are also including people who are on parenting payment, disability payments etc. The plan is for all welfare recipents to be on it - including pensioners."

Michael Gomersall: "i hope to get a cashless card when I get welfare. Won't have to worry about getting robbed etc. my parents are on a pension, and said they would love a cashless card."

Torren Brennan: "Agree 100%... I would love to see this introduced."

Kevin Lewis: "Absolutely yes."

Debbie Bradford: "I think its a gr8 idea tge payments are for luving expenses not to have social life and drugs smokes and booze maybe have strick guid lines for it use."

Amanda Evans: "... and yet most of us don't do that stuff. and do you also think those on disability pensions and those that are their carer's also should only just exist with no social life. And by social life I mean the very occasional meal out with friends.Chad Hooper Absolutely no idea.

Debbie Bradford: "Amanda Evans the card needs to be really studied as they do to ensure ppl are not hard done by.....i may have been misunderstood .... too have family on benifits and know the struggle

Lee Dawson: "Debbie Bradford the reports have already come in that it is a cash grab under the guise of good finance and recipient health snd wellbeing. That it has already caused harm to many. Follow the indue trail ther in lies the truth of the cashless card."

Katelyn Williamson: "Hell no!! This was a messed up idea from the start that is going to negatively impact a lot of people who do the right thing. This isn't for only the unemployed, but for everyone who receives any kind of welfare payment if it is deemed a success. As a student, I save a lot of money every semester by buying second-hand text books with cash, and that's just for my few textbooks. People doing science degrees buy more text books and equipment and rely on second-hand cash deals to make their money stretch every semester. I know my mother found a bag of clothes valued at over $100 (from what we could tell) filled with new baby clothes in various sizes that we bought for $60, My family go to the local farmers markets every week and save money buying fresh produce with cash, not to mention other things where cash is easier. Instead of punishing everyone, why not take the hundreds of thousands of dollars this card costs and put it towards monitoring and helping people who have been proven to have problems making their rent or providing adequate financial care to their kids?"

Chrissy Phoenix: "And it's a little more than "can't use for gambling etc..".

It can't be used for those thrifty cash only place or online markets (that poor people on a budget totally rely on) like garage sales, farmers markets, second hand shops, gumtree..."

Scotty Adam: "Chrissy Phoenix no that's not correct."

Roxsy Mazic: "Yep its awful have spoken to a few ppl on it.

Read a news article the other day relating to this where a lady was refused to use it at a major supermarket because she had things other than staples, like chocolate, in her groceries."

Chrissy Phoenix: "Yes Scotty it is. This is the reality. These are the reports coming directly from the people on the card already, as well community organizations who are working with those people.

The card has been slammed by support services - they can see the impact and it is not positive."

Jr Ric: "it is correct Scotty do some research about the card, the number of places that you can use these cards is very limited and you can't buy anything second hand at all,"

Chrissy Phoenix: "Maybe Scotty you can explain / counter the parts you think are incorrect."

Jr Ric: "Chrissy Phoenix if Scotty thinks its such a good idea he should be put on it, he will change his mind very fast,"

Catherine Marney: "Scotty Adam well then enlighten us!"

Kim Slatter: "Scotty Adam shhhhhhh Bow out of this discussion, YOU'VE proved the stats that your a GOOSE"

Vanessa Maree: "Waiting for Scotty's reply...."

Wit-booka Kabi: "A private corporation telling yous what to do. There not Lawful there in Treason to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1901. Wake up people and stand up for your Rights and say NO. A private Corporation needs Consent"

Lyn Summers: "Ban the card !!"

Nancy Evans: "will they give an allowance for the volunteer worjkers- majority who are pensioners or unemployed."

Catherine Marney: "Introduce it here and the crime rate will increase! 😡"

Janine Woods: "Catherine Marney Couldn't agree more.."

Kryst Al: "Catherine, won't increase, will be exactly the same as it was before the cashless card but will hear of it more so people can blame it on the cashless card."

Catherine Marney: "Kryst Al rubbish! Who do you think is going to suffer more? Women and children! Domestic Violence will further increase due to financial pressures and restrictions placed on families. An abusive partner either male or female will take these restrictions out on their partner and children. Shoplifting, robberies, suicides will increase too"

Kryst Al: "What a load of crap!"

Amanda Evans: "NO NO and NO!!!. This card is not about helping people at all. It is about controlling how money is spent. And it costs thousands per year per person to have the card, money being paid to indue when it could be better put into support services"

Scotty Adam: "Amanda Evans No 110% False.

As the story says and as is happening now just to the north it affects under 35's and single parents on New start ONLY."

Amanda Evans: "Yeah but not in the other areas it has been bought it. The aim is to have all payments on it eventually. Look at the other areas where everyone is on it. And why do people need this control put onto them? Maybe and just maybe if it was done on a person by person basis, it could work for some people. But to say all people of a certain age need to have their money controlled is not right."

Kim Slatter: "Scotty Adam scotttttty back in your Box ,YA GOOSE 🦆🦆🦆🦆🦆🦆"

Brad Ryder: "Which ever member of widebay brings it in they will be voted out at the next election"

Wayne Wilson: "No, Llew. Please, no.

You did the right thing and stood up against corruption. Please, do the right thing here and oppose this destructive card"

Scotty Adam: "Wayne Wilson why will it cause chaos?"

Wayne Wilson: "Because it can only be used at certain places, you can't take it to the markets, and it prevents people from doing what they want with their money. So say goodbye to those markets if it comes here.

It also doesn't work smoothly

"There's much more. You want the truth on this card? Search up the Say No Seven page, and the many Stop The Cashless Card pages. They have links to all the truthful information on this horrible thing."

Kim Slatter: "Scotty Adam because GOOSES 🦆🦆🦆🦆 CAUSE TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS , that's why kaos will be caused, SO PAL KEEP YOUR GOOSEY HEAD OUT OF BIG PEOPLE TALKS 🤣🤣🤣🤣"

Michelle Taylor: "Scotty Adam arnt you the troll"

Wayne Wilson: "Wouldn't say he's a troll, just holds the typical Australian view that people on welfare should be forced to do activities for it, owe society for it and get off on kicking down those on it."

Nicole Robertson: "Wayne Wilson it's not your money to do what you want with... it's to help with your needs not wants. Everyone needs a helping hand."

Wayne Wilson: "Anything I get from Centrelink is mine. For two reasons, one, I've paid enough tax in my life to pay my benefit three times over and two, it is my right and mine as a citizen.

I owe you nothing when I'm on the dole.

"So yes it is my money. When I'm on the dole. I don't answer to you nor any other citizen."

Madonna Waugh: "Where did llew stand up against corruption"

Wayne Wilson: " Made a few comments about it a couple of weeks ago. It was in the Guardian. Basically said he was willing to cross the floor on an ICAC or the like. Something like that, please don't quote me on those words though.

You'll have to ask him, but he definitely stood up."

Wayne Kerr: "Anyone using this as a stepping stone being in an unfortunate position at the time shouldn't mind the restrictions.

If this is a life goal for said persons who don't want to work etc ............. bring it on.

Might encourage the so called " bludgers " to make changes that see them become contributing members of the community."

Wayne Wilson: "They want to introduce it to everyone in any payment, including pensioners. They discussed trialling and 'volunteering' pensioners last month"

Wayne Kerr: "Wayne Wilson, l meant my comment"

Wayne Wilson: "Well if you think it's going to lower the unemployment rate you're kidding yourself"

Wayne Kerr: "Wayne Wilson , so leave it as is ????

A broken system?"

Chrissy Phoenix: "So how does this card create jobs?

How does it make it easier to get a job?

How does it give people skills, experience or training to get a job?"

Wayne Wilson: "The Liberal Party broke that system, Wayne. It worked fine. The CES was fine, and so was the DSS and the level of payments. It wasn't a broken system till Howard broke it. Now his mates are breaking it further by trying to privatise it.

And raise payments so people can afford to look for work. Remove the ridiculous 26 week penalty for moving location (yes, that applies, which means you CAN'T just leave and look for work, you're cut off) so people can go fruit picking and do seasonal work.

The problems with it we have are punishment and mutual obligation, not a lack of money governing."

Chrissy Phoenix" "Gambling, drug and alcohol impact affects a tiny few. And there are already targeted income management systems in place that can deal with those few. Why not use that more effectively?

This card punishes all.

It doesn't make it easier or support people to be employed nor does it create more jobs.

This assumes all who receive any welfare (don't forget pensions could be included, so too DSP, parenting payment etc) can't budget. Which has been proven time and time again to be wrong.

Then there is the cost - to tax payers - of $10k + each card per person (confirmed in Senate estimate hearing) ... all going to a private company. They are doing well out of this."

Michele Usher: "No, it's only in existence to make members of the LNP very rich."

Scotty Adam: "Michele Usher can you provide the details to show us who's getting personally rich?"

Wayne Wilson: "Of course she can't, individually and on a person to person basis.

What a dumb, loaded question to ask someone. I suppose you think you're an edgelord asking it too"

Shantelle Watson: "I'm not even on Centrelink payments and I think it's disgusting. It's all about control not trying to help people. If they want to help addicts, there is a better way then this"

Sharee McGrath: "Yes"

Scotty Adam: "Yes"

Christiane Stasse: "Yes for sure,wasting doll money on drugs and cigarettes is so ridiculous"

Chrissy Phoenix: "So why are people who don't smoke, drink not do drugstore being forced into it?

People on disability pensions? Parenting payments? Plans for pensioners?"

Mike AJ Burns: "Hasn't it been suggested that people using these services just buy gift cards then have them refunded for cash?"

Catherine Marney: "Mike AJ Burns provide evidence!"

Taylor Martland: "Or buy gift cards that they can use at bottle shops.. 7 news did a story about it a few weeks back"

Mike AJ Burns: "Catherine Marney https://www.msn.com/.../loopholes-in.../ar-AAFmFW6...

Loopholes in cashless welfare scheme allowing access to alcohol, cigarettes and cash"

MSN.COM

Catherine Marney: "Mike AJ Burns this would be a handful of ratbags doing so! Why punish all who are genuinely looking for work or disabled doing the right thing! Instead of a bloody card, provide more training and employment opportunities which sadly is lacking in Gympie"

Mike AJ Burns: "Catherine Marney yes Catherine I am quite aware of the statistics. And I'm not saying I agree, this is a temporary fix to a much larger problem. As wages go down and expenses go up, people will get desperate, addiction will grow"

Chantel Lewis: I say yes

Sigrid Watson: "Definately"

Nicole Robertson: "Yes please with random drug testing."

James Nash Jnr: "Top fan"

James Nash Jnr: "Can you get tattoos with the card. Asking for a friend..."

Lynne Gallagher: "If this guy wants more people on this ridiculous card he should consider going on it himself before he spruiks about it."

AJ Fjeseth: "No thanks."

Anna Buttacavoli: "Whether it's liked or not it's going to happen"

Ken Pedler: "Yes. Roll it out"

Chrissy Phoenix: "Why?"

Bron Nie: "He needs to join The Say NO Seven page to see how inhumane and demoralising this card is."

Revlove Yew Shone: "NO! People in those towns trialing the cashless card, are saying that the crime rate of theft has risen in their area. So it would seem those people still need and are getting cash other ways :-( Perhaps the money could be better spent with treatment"

Peter Asylum: "Can you please provide sources? I've been looking and can't find any."

Scotty Adam: "Revlove Yew Shone Rubbish.

Please provide stats?"

Jock Anthony Campbell: "Maybe if the weak judges handed down sentences that reflect the disgust society have with those that do these crimes instead of a slap on the wrist crime might drop. Think you are drawing a long bow to blame the cashless card on these crimes"

Kim Slatter: "Scotty Adam YOUR a goose, is All you can say is Can you provide STATS, what's wrong with you, haven't YOU got a thought process , THANKYOU, YOU'VE PROVIDED THE STATS THAT YOUR A GOOSE 🤣🤣🤣👍🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄"

Chrissy Phoenix: "Kim there are plenty of stats that prove what people are saying is correct, if Scotty bothered to look. There is too much to link here but I hope Scotty has a look at the Say no 7 page and the other pages and articles Amanda linked below."

Kryst Al Revlove: "crime rate is the same as it was before the cashless card, just now people are blaming that so they can try get rid of it."

Melanie Bow: "my local bottleshop now has a security guard there since the rollout. Lady at the counter said theft has risen since the card rolled out so yeah now they have to have security there."

Jason McPherson: "Hell yes"

Maria Wheeler: "Top fan"

Maria Wheeler: "No"

Forrester Debee: "Profits big business only ..... Creates more problems than solutions !"

Scotty Adam: "Forrester Debee incorrect"

Forrester Debee: "Lol .... #FarmedHumansInAnOpenAircage .... #Reality ....."

Jr Ric: "Forrester Debee you are correct but some people only listen to the corrupt bias media instead of finding out the real facts for themselves, and anyone who says different they want them to prove it because they are too lazy or ignorant to find out the facts themselves, they believe the lying lnp and bias murdoch controlled media"

Mick James: "Put politicians on one first"

Leesa Tomlinson: "At 10k a card no. Only politicians mate's are getting rich out this scam from tax payers money. Money should be spent on training people for jobs of the future"

Catherine Marney: "Leesa Tomlinson they certainly are! LNP are a disgrace! 😡"

Peter Bowman: "%110 yess"

Megs Heiniger: "NO."

·Stephen Webster: "NO."

Selina Tarrant: "Definitely NO"