Media Release

UAICC, Uniting Church in Australia and UnitingCare Australia welcome end to cashless debit card

The Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress, the Uniting Church in Australia and UnitingCare Australia commend the Albanese Labor Government for scrapping the Cashless Debit Card.

“We have long advocated for the abolition of the Cashless Debit Card and we are pleased that action is finally being taken to end a program that fundamentally undermined self-determination for First Peoples,” said Rev Mark Kickett, Interim Chair of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC).

President of the Uniting Church in Australia, Rev Sharon Hollis, said this was an important step forward in the journey toward lasting justice for First Peoples.

“The Uniting Church in Australia is deeply committed to walking together as First and Second Peoples. This means building socially just and culturally safe relationships and advocating for First Peoples to be involved in the decisions which impact their lives. We have corrected a significant injustice by scrapping the Cashless Debit Card,” Rev Hollis said.

The UAICC, Uniting Church, and UnitingCare Australia, have been joint leading advocates over many years with calls to scrap the cashless debit card.

“The passage of the Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Repeal of Cashless Debit Card and Other Measures) Bill 2022 through the Parliament is a significant step forward in restoring choice and control to participants in Ceduna, East Kimberley, Goldfields and Bundaberg-Hervey Bay,” said UnitingCare Australia National Director, Ms Claerwen Little.

“We thank the Albanese Government for their leadership on this issue, and extend our thanks to members of the Senate, especially the Greens, the Jacquie Lambie Network, and Independent Senator David Pocock.

“We support the Government’s staged approach to transition people off the card, and we will continue to foster community-led solutions to address the underlying issues which led to the scheme being implemented to begin with.”