Billionaire says Greens 'party for pedophiles' over card
Billionaire Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest has labelled the Greens "the party for pedophiles" for failing to support a cashless debit card for welfare recipients.
Mr Forrest has long supported such a card, believing it would stop welfare payments being spent on drugs and alcohol.
This week he travelled to Canberra to show Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten CCTV footage of unconscious children being assaulted.
The Greens refused to attend the screening for reasons Mr Forrest dubbed "human rights horsesh*t".
"I have to hold the Greens accountable here; the Greens might as well be the party for pedophiles, the party for child sex abusers - you're the party of human rights and you've forgotten the human rights of children, just call yourself the party for pedophiles," he said, according to Fairfax Media.
"While we play politics, Bill Shorten, Malcolm Turnbull, the cross benches, kids are dying and the instant someone plays politics, you literally consign another life to being molested, to being abused, to being kept from school, or worse, committing suicide.
"I'm asking the Prime Minister and the leader of the Opposition to put wedge politics aside and come out and strongly back the little children in vulnerable communities, because quite literally, while Australia dithers on this, children are dying.
"I want the government to listen to the communities. Governments are flat out listening to everyone else from the community from academics, to green politicians to people who don't go to these communities, don't care about these communities, and reckon they're an authority on them, whereas we should just give the cashless debit card to those communities who are begging for it."
The cashless welfare card is being trialled at two sites: East Kimberley, WA and Ceduna, SA.
The government has announced plans to expand the trial to two more sites.
The trial has shown a reduction in alcohol and drug abuse and some homelessness but about half of the participants say the card made their lives worse.
Greens senator Rachel Siewert dismissed Mr Forrest's comments.
"Andrew Forrest tends to run bizarre commentary against people who do not agree with his ideas and this is just another example," Ms Siewert said.
"I will not be bullied into supporting the cashless welfare card and will not be dignifying his absurd and offensive comments any further."