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ABSTAINED – Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Income Management Reform) Bill 2023 - Second Reading - Cashless Debit Card program

The majority voted in favour of disagreeing with an amendment introduced by Deakin MP Michael Sukkar (Liberal), which means it failed.


Bass MP Bridget Archer (Liberal) crossed the floor to vote "Yes" while the rest of the Liberal Party voted "No."

Amendment text

That all words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:

"whilst not declining to give the bill a second reading, the House:

(1) notes:

(a) the Coalition introduced the Cashless Debit Card to protect vulnerable communities reducing the amount of welfare payments available to spend on alcohol, gambling and illegal drugs;

(b) since the Cashless Debit Card program commenced more than $988 million has been spent using cashless debit card accounts; participants making more than 20 million approved transactions with over $273 million spent where the primary business is food;

(c) the harm and hardship the Government's abolition of the Cashless Debit Card has caused some of Australia's most vulnerable communities;

(d) the Government's hypocrisy by reintroducing the Cashless Debit Card and rebranding it the SmartCard with the new card supported by the same provider Indue;

(e) the Government has committed over $217 million of taxpayers' funds to this expensive rebranding exercise;

(f) the Government has failed to provide details of the total cost to taxpayers of the new SmartCard; and

(g) the Government's rushed and total mismanaged transition to the SmartCard; and

(2) calls on the Government to without delay, reverse its decision to abolish the Cashless Debit Card program and stop the alcohol-fuelled violence, drug abuse, and childhood neglect in our most vulnerable communities".


Date and time: 5:31 PM on 2023-03-28
Allegra Spender's vote: Abstained
Total number of "aye" votes: 87
Total number of "no" votes: 53
Total number of abstentions: 10
Related bill: Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Income Management Reform) Bill 2023

Adapted from information made available by

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