LABOR WILL CONTINUE TO HOLD GOVERNMENT TO ACCOUNT ON DEBIT CARD TRIAL

Labor is committed to supporting community leaders to respond to the harm caused by alcohol in Ceduna and the communities that have shown interest in the debit card trial.

We have been very concerned by the lack of detail provided by the Abbott-Turnbull Government about the debit card trial.

Before supporting the debit card trial legislation, Labor worked hard to make sure that the Abbott-Turnbull Government will provide additional supports for participating communities, including an initial $1 million for community services in Ceduna.

This additional funding will see increased drug and alcohol counselling services, greater mental health support and expanded access to financial counselling in Ceduna.

Labor also gained assurances from the Government that there will be a robust evaluation framework agreed, made public and in place ahead of the trial commencing.

We have also sought assurance from the Abbott-Turnbull Government on the details of how the debit card will work and be managed and the role of a possible community panel in administering the card.

The Government did provide additional information in response to Labor’s concerns, however Alan Tudge’s answers lacked some details.

There remains insufficient details about how the compliance of the card will be managed, including when participants travel to other areas, who the card provider will be, and how a community panel will make decisions.    

Labor expects the Government to make outstanding details on the trial public and available for scrutiny ahead of an introduction of a legislative instrument that would enable the debit card trial to commence in Ceduna.

Labor’s consideration of the legislation and requirement for a robust approach to the trial will ultimately support a better long term outcome for people living in possible trial communities.   

We will continue to make sure that the Abbott-Turnbull Government takes a comprehensive and detailed approach to the implementation of the trial.

WEDNESDAY 14 OCTOBER 2015

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