Indue Cashless Debit Card
Indue Cashless Debit Card

Future of Cashless Debit Card trial sites hanging in balance

DEBATE has raged in Federal parliament as members debate whether to make the trial sites of the Cashless Debit Card, including the Hinkler electorate, permanent.

The bill is currently being discussed in the House of Representatives.

It is unclear when the bill will got to a vote, with parliament to continue next week.

The bill, if successful, will then need to be passed by the Senate.

On Wednesday night, several Labor MPs labelled the bill as racist, saying it impacted unfairly on Australia's indigenous population.

Two Liberal MPs also spoke out against the bill.

Tasmanian Liberal MP Bridget Archer said the bill invited people to look at their fellow Australians as "other" or "less than".

Victorian Liberal MP Russell Broadbent said his expectation was the government would drop the legislation, which also transitions another 26,000 people in the Northern Territory and Cape York onto the card.

Aimed at reducing welfare-fuelled alcohol, drug and gambling abuse, the debit card cannot be used to purchase alcohol or gambling products and it cannot withdraw cash.

Eighty per cent of the person's welfare payment goes onto the card, with 20 per cent being able to be accessed through their bank account.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he had spoken to Ms Archer about her concerns over making the cashless debit card trial sites permanent and insisted any of his members and senators could walk into his office to raise issues with him.

One Nation, which holds two Senate votes, has voiced support for the bill but Mr Morrison is one vote short of passing it through the Senate.

Independent South Australian senator Rex Patrick will likely be the one to decide the success of the legislation.

The final evaluation of the cashless card by the University of Adelaide is yet to be released.