With support from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), and developed in close consultation with local community leaders, local and state government agencies and other Australian Government agencies, the Department of Social Services (DSS) is conducting a 12-month trial of a Cashless Debit Card for income support payments (ISPs) in two regional communities.
The Cashless Debit Card Trial (CDCT) aims to reduce the levels of harm associated with alcohol consumption, illicit drug use and gambling by limiting Trial participants’ access to cash and by preventing the purchase of alcohol or gambling products (other than lottery tickets). Between 50% and 80% of CDCT participants’ ISPs are directed to a restricted bank account, accessed by the debit card, with the remainder of these payments accessible through a normal (unrestricted) bank account. Participation in the Trial is mandatory for all working age ISP recipients in the selected Trial sites. Wage earners, Age Pensioners and Veterans’ Affairs Pensioners who live in the Trial sites can opt in to the CDCT1. To support the implementation of the Trial, DSS worked with the South Australian and Western Australian state governments, community agencies and local Indigenous leadership to supplement the support services being provided in the Trial areas with significant further investment.
The Trial commenced in Ceduna and Surrounds (South Australia, SA) on 15 March 2016; and in the East Kimberley (EK) region (Western Australia, WA) on 26 April 2016.
Three evaluation reports are planned across the period of the Trial, with this being the second of these. It is based on data collected during the first six months of the Trial (up to 4 October 2016).