A still from the video showing what appears to be a Cashless Debit Card being used to buy beer.
A still from the video showing what appears to be a Cashless Debit Card being used to buy beer.

‘Children are going to school with lunch’: Pitt's card claim

AN INVITATION to a Christmas barbecue has been extended to those living on the Cashlesss Debit Card.

But Hinkler MP Keith Pitt rejects the premise of the event, organised by anti-card activists.

According to the invitation, being distributed for the Hervey Bay event, the barbecue is aimed at giving families "a day off from the impacts of living on the card and for the kids to have some fun".

The card, introduced in the Hinkler electorate last year, is a form of income management for those on welfare payments.

It cannot be used to buy alcohol, gambling products, some gift cards or to withdraw cash.

Last year 100 families attended the events, which will again be held in the Bay and in Bundaberg.

There will be free food and presents for everyone who attends.

In Hervey Bay, the event, being organised by Hervey Bay's Kathryn Wilkes, will be held on November 29 at Scarness Park from 11am.

Mr Pitt disputed the suggestion families needed respite from the impact of the Cashless Debit Card.

He said families had instead been helped by the card.

"Contrary to the ongoing misinformation promoted by this small group of activists, anecdotal feedback received since the introduction of the Cashless Debit Card trial has been positive," Mr Pitt said.

"People are managing their money, some are budgeting for the first time in their lives and many participants have money left over at the end of the fortnight and many have savings.

"Children are going to school with lunch and have had breakfast. Requests for emergency food hampers have plummeted. Homelessness and emergency accommodation requests have also reduced as rent is paid and people consistently have a roof over their heads.

"During the coronavirus pandemic, there has been increased spending on food and other essential items from supermarkets and grocery stores, as well as spending on footwear, clothing, furniture and homewares."