PETITION: Thousands sign to stop cashless welfare card
MORE than 2000 people have signed a petition calling on the Federal Government to cease trials of the Cashless Debit Card in regions across Australia, including in the Hinkler electorate.
Hervey Bay's Kathryn Wilkes, who has campaigned against the welfare card for years, said nearly 200 people had signed in the last couple of days, with many others signing the petition since the card's introduction.
"All we can do is keep trying and be ready if there's another Senate enquiry," she said.
"It's a pity it's taken the card to come to wake people up."
Ms Wilkes said some believed the card had been stopped from coming to the region and were blind-sided by its introduction early this year.
More than 6400 people aged 35 or under on either unemployment benefits or parenting payments across the electorate will be placed on the card in the Hinkler electorate.
Under the scheme, welfare recipients receive 80 per cent of their payment on the card, with 20 per cent accessible in cash.
Ms Wilkes said last week's election result had dealt a blow to the community that was fighting against the card, with Labor vowing to roll the card back.
She said the card was impacting on people's ability to pay their rent and other bills and had affected people's mental health.
Last weekend, Hinkler MP Keith Pitt celebrated his re-election at the Burnett Bowls Club with family and supporters and called the LNP's victory "a resounding endorsement of the Cashless Debit Card".
"People want change. They know these are tough decisions that we have to do, to make real social change locally that is in the benefit of local kids," Mr Pitt said.