LNP Government announce cashless card trial extension

RECIPIENTS will remain on the Cashless Debit Card (CDC) announced the decision to extend the trial.

The Federal Government announced the trial would be extended for an additional six months, earlier this week.

Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said the extension would also introduce new functions, including the option of contactless payment, as well as a 1 per cent interest rate on account balances.

Labor Senator for Queensland Anthony Chisholm said communities needed support from the government more than ever, as they begin to repair after the economical impact of COVID-19.

"The Bundaberg economy is suffering from COVID-19 with workers losing their jobs and income," Mr Chisholm said.

"The Federal LNP Government should be focusing on job creation for Bundaberg post COVID-19 not forcing people onto this card when they are trying to recover after this crisis."

He said he felt the Federal Government should focus on creating jobs for Bundaberg and the Fraser Coast.

"Keith Pitt continues to call the trial a success however he still hasn't backed his claims up with statistics and continues to move the goal posts to justify this trial," he said.

"At the community forums I have held across the region it's clear that Keith Pitt isn't listening to the concerns of locals whether it is about the CDC or standing up for local jobs."

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said the feedback he had received about the trial in his electorate has been positive.

"Extension of the CDC trial until December 31, will provide certainty for individuals on the card in the Hinkler electorate," Mr Pitt said.

"The introduction of contactless payments in the coming months will give trial participants more flexibility in using their card, and they will be able to earn interest on their CDC accounts."

Mr Pitt said the Federal Government was committed to helping Australians recover from the pandemic.

"The Federal Government has invested $173 million into the Hinkler Regional Deal - one of only three in the country - to strengthen the local economy and build important infrastructure," he said.

"The Government has committed billions across a range of measures to helping individuals and businesses as Australia navigates the coronavirus pandemic and to claim the opposite is untrue."

Some recipients have deemed the trial as controversial, as they feel it has disrupted their budgeting and independence.

The trial has been extended to December 31 in Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Ceduna, East Kimberley and the Goldfields.

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