Showing posts with label cashless debit card. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cashless debit card. Show all posts

Monday, 21 October 2019

You might have found Juice Media's Honest Government Ad on the Cashless Debit Card humorous - the interview is deadly serious



EPISODE SUMMARY Welcome to Episode 5, in which we go into more depth on the topic of our latest Honest Government Ad: the Cashless Welfare Card - aka Class Warfare Card. We speak with two members of the Say No Seven group, which has been spearheading the fight against this bullshit.

Interview with Say No Seven group members starts at 5:09mins.

The Video


*

Monday, 14 October 2019

What if privatisation of Centrelink pension/benefit/allowance cash transfer delivery ends in tears?


It is increasingly evident that Australian Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison eventually intends to place all Centrelink clients on the Indue Limited Cashless Debit Card.

Apparently this policy change comes under the heading of either 'tough love' or 'compassionate conservatism' - whichever term Liberal and Nationals MPs and senators think sounds good at the time - when in reality it is establishing yet another market for poverty profiteers*.

In all the pious and poisonous spin being uttered by those making war on the poor and vulnerable, there has been little said about any government guarantee covering the millions Centrelink regularly deposits with Indue Limited.

What happens to the mandated 80 per cent of a Centrelink client's welfare payment held on the Cashless Debit Card if Indue ceases to trade, trades while insolvent or is placed under administration? 

How many corporate debtors would take precedence over welfare recipients in the distribution of whatever assets Indue had left if it declares bankruptcy?

Would sole parents, the unemployed, students, disability and age pensioners or other recipients ever get back any of the money which has been forcibly retained on these debit cards?

Notes

* See: Bielefeld, Dr. S, Griffith University Law School (2018), Technologising the poor: Cashless Debit Card trials expanding despite no credible evidence regarding positive outcomes  

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government and Indue Limited still haven't ironed the bugs out of the punitive cashless debit card scheme


The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government's Indue Limited cashless debit card trial began three and a half years ago in March 2016 and still neither Centrelink nor Indue have ironed the bugs out of this debit card scheme.

In the current total debit card trial population, 1 in 12 people on the have applied to come off this card by 31 July 2019.

There are reportedly 6,000 people on the cashless debit card trial in regional southern Queensland and some are speaking up.....

ABC News, 8 October 2019:

...some of the people taking part in the trial feel the cashless debit card places unreasonable restrictions on their spending and can even make it more difficult to save.
They said they could no longer buy second-hand goods online, often don't have enough cash for cheaper supermarket food, and the debit card restricts payments to money owing on credit accounts.
"It's definitely made things a lot harder, I've found it harder to budget," Childers resident and single mother Hannah Leacy told 7.30.
"I'm losing out on interest that I could potentially be building up in my savings account if I'd been able to transfer that."
She feels she is being penalised for something she hasn't done.
"I got my first job at Domino's when I was 13, and I've had a job ever since," she said.

"I've been independent up until now, and now at 34, I'm now deemed to be incapable of making appropriate choices, financially.".......
People forced onto the cashless welfare card as part of a trial in the Bundaberg-Hervey Bay area of Queensland say they feel stigmatised and humiliated by the Federal Government.
"I feel like in the Government's eyes I'm a lesser person. In the public's eyes it's much, much worse," Kerryn Griffis told 7.30.
"What have I ever done for the government to treat me this way? To treat thousands of other people this way?

"We've been branded as drug addicts and alcoholics and gamblers and dole bludgers.
"Most of us are just doing the best we can to get by.".....
But for Ms Griffis, the trial feels like a punishment.

"If my partner was to quarantine some of my money and tell me where and when I can't spend it, tell me it's for my own good … people would be screaming financial abuse," she said.
"Why is it OK for the Government to do it?"

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Nationals MP for Page Kevin Hogan avoids questions about Coalition Government-Indue Limited's punitive cashless debit card for welfare recipients


Clarence Valley Independent, 2 October 2019:

The latest federal budget underwrote $128.8 million over four years, from 2019-20, to fund the trial rollout of the Cashless Debit Card (CDC), including the provision of “funding to expand the Cashless Debit Card to a fifth site”.
Test areas are located in the Ceduna region in South Australia (from March 2016) and the East Kimberley (from April 2016) and Goldfields (from March 2018) regions in Western Australia.
In January this year, a trial commenced in the Bundaberg / Hervey Bay region in Queensland – the Clarence Valley local government area is statistically much the same as Hervey Bay’s, according to the 2016 census, apart from the valley being home to a larger indigenous population.
“This proposal is expected to have a positive impact on regional Australia by reducing alcohol consumption, illegal drug use, and gambling in communities and providing improved technology for participants subject to welfare quarantining,” the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development website states.
Another Clarence Valley publication recently ran a headline with Page MP Kevin Hogan reportedly saying the implantation of the cashless welfare card is a “no brainer” an described his position as an “impassioned defence” of the CDC.
With the possible rollout of another trial area and the similarity of Clarence Valley LGA’s census data to the Hervey Bay area, the Independent sought Mr Hogan’s thoughts, preparing several questions (with context provided) and putting them in an email, along with an invitation to speak directly about the issue, which Mr Hogan declined.....
Read the full article here.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Morrison Government continues to mislead concerning results of Indue Cashless Debit Card trials


“it is difficult to conclude whether there had been a reduction in social harm and whether the card was a lower cost welfare quarantining approach.” [Australian National Audit Office ANAO, The Implementation and Performance of the Cashless Debit Card Trial (Performance Audit Report, 1 of 2018-2019)]

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.....




His minister said.....

The Courier Mail, 29 August 2019:

YOUTH unemployment has dropped since the cashless welfare card was introduced to Bundaberg and Hervey Bay, while the number of people in the region on welfare has fallen at double the national rate. 

For the first time the impact of the controversial card can be revealed, as a push for the trial to be rolled out nationally intensifies. 

The trial was rolled out in the region in January this year, the first test sites outside predominantly indigenous communities. 

The card quarantines about 80 per cent of dole payments so they can’t be used for drugs, alcohol or gambling. Social Services Minister Anne Ruston, in Hervey Bay today, will reveal the number of people on Newstart or Youth Allowance has dropped. 

In Bundaberg people on the welfare payments dropped 8.7 per cent, or by 502 people, to 5277 recipients in the past year, while in Hervey Bay there has been a 10 per cent fall to 3482 recipients. 

This compares to a five per cent drop of people on Newstart or Youth Allowance nationally. Youth unemployment in the region has dropped from 19.8 per cent in January to 18.5 per cent last month. 

Senator Ruston said the region was “punching above its weight” with the significant reduction in people relying on welfare payments. 

“We believe the cashless debit card is supporting people to demonstrate personal responsibility for their finances, helping to encourage financial independence and addressing intergenerational welfare dependence,” she said. 

There are 5746 people in the region on the CDC, while about 700 people have come off the card, either because they found work or they were suspended from welfare payments for breaching the rules. 

Hinkler MP Keith Pitt said if the trial was successful it should be rolled out nationally for people under 35. [my yellow highlighting]

Siewert said......

Fraser Coast Chronicle, 3 September 2019: 

It was disappointing to see the government once again spread misinformation about the Cashless Debit Card in the Hinkler region. 

The government claims that unemployment has dropped in the Queensland trial site but they have used the data for the much larger region of Wide Bay as the basis for this claim. 

It’s like saying that unemployment has dropped in Canberra using the figures for the whole of NSW and I urge people to look more closely at their claims. 

Unemployment figures in the Wide Bay area dropped quite a bit before the trial started and have changed slightly since the card’s introduction and if you actually go and look at the raw data, they are clearly subject to seasonal variation. 

If government really has the evidence to prove it’s working, then release it.

If they are making these claims on data they have available it should be released for all to see. 

Communities are crying out for more support and services but instead community members are put on a card that makes life harder for them. 

The issues that this card is purported to address are complex and need individualised approaches to address. 

Despite the ANAO report saying there is no evidence of a reduction of social harm the government wants to continue to roll out the card. 

My office hears from people constantly who cannot pay their rent or bills using the card, who have problems with the card, who are not able to use cash economies like markets, second hand shops or op-shops to help them make ends meet. 

 RACHEL SIEWERT 
 Greens Senator for Western Australia
 [my yellow highlighting]

Friday, 6 October 2017

National Party President Larry Anthony is not happy and neither are a good many Australian voters



On 30 September 2017 Lawrence James "Larry" Anthony (pictured above) was not happy and here’s the reason why:


The Directors of The SAS Group note reports in Fairfax newspapers today which refer to our firm.  The SAS Group prides itself on achieving outstanding results for our clients.  That has been our track record since our inception almost a decade ago, and we make no apology for the fact that we give our clients the best advice and guidance to help them achieve their business goals.

At all times we operate in accordance with the Federal lobbying laws and code of conduct, and we will always do so. We note that the Fairfax journalist has made no allegation of impropriety, and was not able, when asked, to point to any breach of the relevant code.

We are unbothered by the baseless implications upon which the news story is founded.  However, we are deeply offended that our hard-working staff and consultants should have their achievements debased in this way.

The SAS Group has risen to be one of Australia’s leading strategic communications consultancies because our consultants have a breadth of experience in media, government and a range of industry sectors.  We value the outcomes achieved by our personnel, and we – and our clients – understand that the firm’s success is derived not from the standing of one director, but from the efforts of our entire team.

The media report in question can be found in The Sydney Morning Herald of the same day, Nationals Interest: Larry Anthony, the party president who runs a lobbying firm.

On 30 September 2017 thousands of voters across Australia were also not happy and here’s their reasons why:

The Catholic Leader, 27 September 2017:

THE plan to rollout cashless welfare cards to thousands of residents on the dole in Hervey Bay-Bundaberg has sparked a fierce backlash from opponents claiming the cards will cause social segregation, stigmatise job seekers and entrench poverty.

“The people of the Hinkler region (Hervey Bay-Bundaberg) are feeling threatened, scared and worried for their financial futures and inclusion in our communities,” Hervey Bay’s Kathryn Wilkes, who has launched an online petition opposing introduction of the Federal Government scheme early next year, said.

The scheme is based on a suggestion by Western Australian mining billionaire Andrew Forrest, that 80 per cent of welfare payments be cashless and only available via an electronic debit card that cannot be used for alcohol or gambling.

“The insults that we cannot manage our funds, that we are all drunks, druggies and pedos are unjust and not true,” Ms Wilkes said.

“The cashless welfare debit card will completely destroy people on so many levels and we don’t have the mental health services to cope with the loss of self and autonomy.

“The card does not care what colour your skin is, your religion, or your circumstance; it is about profits for private business.”

The Guardian, 18 September 2017:

A new research paper has issued a damning assessment of the quality of the report the Turnbull government has been using to promote its cashless welfare card trials, saying the report shows the program is not working.

Janet Hunt, the deputy director of the centre for Aboriginal economic policy research at the Australian National University, says the government has ignored serious flaws in the Orima Research report, which it released this month.

She said the report showed the government’s cashless card trials had not actually improved safety and violence figures in the two trial sites in Ceduna and the East Kimberley, despite that being the point of the card.

Her findings support the work of social researcher Eva Cox, who has already found significant problems with the design of the report, including the way interviews were conducted in Indigenous communities and the ethics of the process.

“Indeed, the authors qualify a number of their apparently positive findings with various caveats, but, at the same time, the evaluation itself has serious flaws, so even these findings are contestable,” Hunt says in her report, The Cashless Debit Card Evaluation: Does it Really Prove Success?

ABC News, 14 September 2017:

A researcher studying the impact of the cashless welfare card has linked the Federal Government's welfare program to the issue of youth suicides in the Kimberley.

Coroner Ros Fogliani is examining the suicides of 13 children and young adults in the Kimberley, and is this week hearing testimony in the town of Kununurra.

Among those to give evidence was Melbourne University researcher Elise Klein, who is midway through a study on the effects of the implementation of the cashless welfare initiative in Ceduna and the west Kimberley.

All of the suicides being examined in the inquest took place before the cashless welfare card trial began in the East Kimberley in April 2016.

But Dr Klein argued the program would add to the disempowerment felt by Aboriginal people in the region.

"It has become a symbol of not having control over one's life and of state intervention over people's lives," she said.

Questioned on her findings so far, Dr Klein said local people and the community as a whole felt weakened by being subjected to the mandatory spending restrictions.

"Maybe the relevance to this inquest is that the kind of atmosphere that this feeds into is extremely disempowering for people.

Dr Klein was scathing of the implementation of the cashless card program, saying there was no proper consultation in Kununurra or Wyndham, and inadequate explanation as to how it worked.

"People were given a manual, that was full of technical language that was difficult to understand, so people had a lot of difficulty using the card," she said.

"When the trial began there was a fair amount of chaos.

"People were directed to a mobile app to check their balance, but some people didn't know how to use the internet, never mind have a mobile phone."

What connects all this unhappiness? Well it’s the SAS Consulting Group of which Larry Anthony is a founding director and part owner through Illalangi Pty Ltd as Trustee for the Anthony Family Trust and Indue Limited a financial services corporation established in 1999.

Anthony is listed as an owner, as well as a contact person for and employee of the SAS Consulting Group on the current NSW Register of Third-Party Lobbyists.

In my opinion this is a blatant work-around of the Australian Government Lobbying Code of Conduct at s8 & s10, because the NSW Lobbying of Government Officials (Lobbyists Code of Conduct) Regulation 2014 allows for more wriggle room.

From 17 February 2005 to 30 October 2013 Larry Anthony sat on the Indue board as a director and, for much of that period he was also Senior Vice President Australia of the National Party.

The Australian Government Register of Lobbyists shows that Indue Limited is one of the 19 clients on whose behalf SAS Consulting lobbies. Indue has been reportedly a client since mid-2014.

Indue Limited has the federal government contract to supply the cashless debit card and associated financial/banking services.

All welfare recipients, excepting age pensioners, have been placed on the cashless debit card in Ceduna SA, Kununurra and Wydham WA.

By January 2018 it is expected that all welfare recipients under 35 years of age who receive unemployment or single parent benefits and live in Goldfields WA or Hervey Bay Qld will also be placed on this income management scheme.

It is likely that within the next five years an est. 24,633 people on Centrelink income management as of 25 March 2016 will also be transferred onto the cashless debit card program.

Larry Anthony can expect to see more media articles in the future which make him uncomfortable, now his relationship with Indue Limited has begun to be scrutinised.

BRIEF BACKGROUND

SAS Consulting Group Pty Ltd talks up Larry Anthony:

Larry has had a distinguished career in both business and politics and is the current President of the National Party, one half of the ruling Coalition Government. 

He is the founding Director of the SAS Group and prior to his current commercial career was a former member of the Australian Parliament and served between 1996- 2004 in the Howard Government. During this period, he held numerous Ministries:  Children and Youth Affairs, Minister for Community Services and Parliamentary Secretary for Trade.  Larry also served on House of Representatives' Standing Committees on Financial Institutions; Public Administration; and Corporations and Securities. 

Larry was the longest serving Minister responsible for Centrelink with an annual budget of over $60 billion and is widely regarded for his achievements in social policy reforms.  In trade, he was responsible for driving export market development programs. 

Larry is the third-generation Anthony family member in the Australian Parliament - the only family in Australian history where each elected member served as Minister of the Crown and collectively served 56 years in the Australian Parliament.

Prior to entering Parliament, Larry was a stockbroker and investment banker with Potter Warburg and Merrill Lynch.

Larry is a professional company director with a keen interest in information technology, finance, media and human services sector.

As Minister for Community Services in 2000 Anthony introduced a Centrelink pilot data matching program which compared data held on welfare recipients with data held by the Australia Taxation Office and the Australian Investment & Securities Commission.

Larry Anthony held the seat of Richmond for the National Party for over eight years and lost it at the federal election on 9 October 2004.

Anthony became National President of the National Party in September 2015.

Larry Anthony's professional profile.

Indue Limited on North Coast Voices at http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com.au/search?q=indue

#cashlesswelfare on Twitter.

Friday, 12 May 2017

'Whistleblower network' confirms Cashless Debit Card trial currently sends welfare recipients' transaction histories to federal government agencies, including Dept. of Social Security


Voters have been raising many concerns on social media platforms about the Turnbull Government’s nation-wide Cashless Debit Card proposal.

Two questions frequently posed have been in relation to the fact that the Indue Ltd account created for each welfare recipient will not attract interest on any balance recorded and, the inevitability that federal government will keep a record of an individual’s purchasing history when using this card.

Other concerns have ranged from restricted purchasing options if vendor participation is low through to how rent from private landlords can be paid and the pitiful amount of cash in hand allowed under the Turnbull Government’s de facto privatisation of the Centrelink pension/benefit/allowance payments system.

A website dedicated to the idea of open and transparent government as a benchmark of genuine democracy went looking for some answers………..


CORRESPONDENCE WITH INDUE: #CASHLESS WELFARE CARD

I recently emailed a list of questions to Indue after reading their cashless welfare card Conditions of Use.

QUESTIONS FOR INDUE

Dear Sir/Madam,

I write to you with questions based on the document at https://indue.com.au/wp-content/uploads/Conditions-of-Use.pdf Why do you not pay interest on the funds kept on Indue cards? How was the list of restrictions you impose on card holders drawn up?

These restrictions include:

* refusal to pay interest on savings;

* preventing joint banking;

* refusing the ability to pay down other credit cards;

* refusing the ability to set up direct debits;

* refusing chargeback rights provided with normal bank card purchases;

* construction of merchant whitelist/exclusion list.

Who were the stakeholders in the decision making process to create the above list of punishments and where is the documentation to provide accountability to the public about how this list was developed?

Can you please list the datasets that you share with other organisations and the organisations that you share this data with?

Why do you collect information about taxi rides taken by people using your debit card? What information do you collect about journeys taken by card holders?

Why are Indue account holders required to provide you with ‘external account information’?

Is it the case that you supply card holder transaction history with the Commonwealth Government? (p64)
What is the name of the ‘overseas service provider’ that you share card holder information with? (p65) What data does the Indue DCT App collect? (p71)

thank you for your time Rosie Williams BA (Sociology) whistleblower.network

Here is their reply. I have coloured text in red where I have concerns.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dear Ms Williams
Thank you for your questions regarding the Cashless Debit Cards issued by Indue in connection with the Commonwealth Government’s Cashless Debit Card Trial.
Account Restrictions and Interest on Funds
The restrictions associated with the Cashless Debit Cards and Accounts including the decision to offer fee-free accounts and not to pay interest on the funds in accounts were decisions of the Commonwealth.  Any questions related to the decision making process surrounding the Cashless Debit Card Trial should be directed to the Department of Social Services at debitcardtrial@dss.gov.au.
Although the Department of Social Services is best placed to answer your questions regarding the restrictions, we take this opportunity to clarify the following with respect to the restrictions noted in your correspondence:
*  chargeback rights that exist for Visa debit cards issued by other financial institutions also apply to the Cashless Debit Cards.  Indue encourages anyone who believes that an  
    incorrect or unauthorised transaction has occurred through the use of their Cashless Debit Card to contact Indue’s Customer Service Centre on 1800 710 265;
*  cardholders are able to enter into direct debit arrangements with third parties by using their Visa Card number but not their BSB and Account Number; and
*  cardholders are able to transfer at least $200 per 28 days from their Cashless Debit Card account to a third party account which may be used to pay down any credit card debt.  If
   cardholders believe that the restrictions in place are causing them financial hardship by preventing them from paying off credit card debt, then Indue recommends they contact the Department of Social Services on 1800 252 604.
Privacy
Indue only collects and discloses information for the purpose of providing services to cardholders and providing information to the Commonwealth for the purposes of the Cashless Debit Card Trial.  The information that Indue shares in the course of providing the services includes details such as a cardholder’s name, date of birth and address as well as transactional information, including the amount of a transaction, where a transaction was undertaken and who the payment was made to or received from.  It is essential to provide these details to payment scheme providers so that transactions can be made. In addition to the Commonwealth, in the course of providing the services to cardholders Indue may provide information to:
*  service providers who Indue operate the accounts (such as the card manufacturer and Indue’s payment switch);
*  payment scheme providers (such as Visa, BPAY and APCA);
*  regulatory bodies, government agencies, law enforcement bodies and courts;
*  other participants in the financial systems (such as other financial institutions for the purpose of resolving disputes, errors or issues in relation to Accounts); and
*  other parties as is authorised or required by law.              
Information regarding taxi journeys may be collected to ensure merchants cannot circumvent welfare restrictions. 
External account information
There is no obligation on Indue account holders to provide Indue with their external account information.  In certain circumstances Indue may request this information from account holders or the Commonwealth so that Indue can facilitate a transfer from an Indue account to a cardholder’s external account.  For example, to return any residual funds to a Cashless Debit Card account holder upon the closure of their account.
Provision of transaction history to the Commonwealth
As set out in the Conditions of Use for the Cashless Debit Card (available on our website at www.indue.com.au/dct/cou), Indue shares information collected about cardholders with the Commonwealth.  This information may include the cardholder’s address, date of birth, contact details, transaction history and communications a cardholder has had with Indue about their account. This is necessary for the Commonwealth to operate aspects of the trial.
Indue DCT Application
Once the Indue DCT Application has been installed on a device and a card holder has logged into their account, Indue will collect device identification details including DeviceId, DeviceName, DeviceModel, DevicePlatform and DeviceVersion. These device details allow Indue to identify the type of device used by a card holder. These details are necessary for the Application to allow in-application notifications to card holders. 
Yours sincerely,
customer service centre
PO Box 523, Toowong QLD 4066
phone 1800 710 265
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Ceduna, South Australia and the Turnbull Government's cashless debit card trial


On 15 March and 26 April 2016 the Turnbull Government began a twelve month long trial of the Cashless Debit Card aka Healthy Welfare Card in Ceduna and surrounds, South Australia and the East Kimberly region in Western Australia.


More participants said the CDCT [Cashless Debit Card Trial] had made their lives worse than made it better (49% compared to 22%). Family members of trial participants gave a similar pattern of answers (37% and 27%).

The evaluation report also contained a wealth of unsupported anecdotal information bolstering implementation of the cashless debit card – a few instances of which read like pure fairy tales. None of which could be fact checked by readers of the interim report.

However, Turnbull Government claims in the media of reduced crime statistics due to introduction of the cashless debit card can at least be broadly checked.

This is an excerpt from the South Australian Police Annual Report June 2015- June 2016 covering the Eyre and Western Service Local Area which includes Ceduna:

From 2014-15 to 2015-16, Homicide and Related Offences decreased by -25% (18 offences), with Other Homicide and Related Offences decreasing by -39.6% (21 offences). Sexual Assault and Related Offences decreased by -7.2%(150 offences) overall. There were decreases in the three groups within the Sexual Assault and Related Offences subdivision, with Non Assaultive Sexual Offences decreasing by -14.1% (63 offences).

Robbery and Related Offences decreased by -12.9% (90 offences), with Aggravated Robbery Offences decreasing by -16.8% (84 offences).

Serious Criminal Trespass increased by 4.6% (600 offences) over the previous year. The main driver for this was Serious Criminal Trespass – Residence which increased by 5.8% (476 offences), where offenders are breaking into homes, flats, units and apartments. Serious Criminal Trespass – Non Residence increased by 2.6% (124 offences), where offenders are breaking into domestic sheds and garages.

Theft and Related Offences have increased by 8.4% (3383 offences) over the previous year. The main drivers are Theft from Shop which increased by 16.7% (1118 offences) and Other Theft which increased by 11.4% (2209 offences). Theft from Service/Petrol Station was one of the causes for the increase in the Other Theft category. Theft/Illegal use of Motor Vehicle has increased to 4.6% (149 offences). The 2015-16 result of 3364 stolen vehicles represents a decrease of -60.8% from a high of 8574 offences in 2006-07.

Fraud, Deception and Related Offences have seen an increase of 5.5% (152 offences). The main driver for this was Obtain Benefit by Deception which increased by 4.6% (105 offences).

Property Damage and Environmental has seen a slight increase of 10 offences. Environmental relates to the natural world and the impact of human activity on its condition, also relating to or arising from a person’s surroundings e.g. environmental noise. Property Damage by Fire or Explosion increased by 3.4% (59 offences). Graffiti offences decreased by -12.4% (315 offences).

Illicit Drug Offences have increased by 24.2% (768 offences). One of the main drivers is the 72.8% (437 offences) increase in Possess/Use Drugs. Other Drug Offences refers to the possession, use, sale or furnishing of any drug or intoxicating substance or drug paraphernalia, that is prohibited by law. This group has seen an increase of 51.1% (324 offences). Weapons/explosives Offences have increased by 12.0% (329 offences). The main driver of this increase is Prohibited weapons/explosives of 23.4% (150 offences). Justice Procedure Offences have increased 15.3% (2367 offences). This category includes Breach of bail which increased by 17.6% (1486 offences) and Breach of violence and non-violence restraining orders which has increased by 17.8% (629 offences). This is largely due to an increased emphasis on encouraging and supporting reporting of those offences associated with family and domestic violence.

Other Theft GENS have increased by 63.2% (2199 offences). This is due to the Public Transport Safety Branch focusing on high visibility policing and passenger safety throughout the metropolitan public transport system.

Total General Expiations have increased by 9.8% (2867 offences). One of the main drivers is the 28.9% (1615) increase in Drug Diversions with police emphasising the educational aspect of engaging with adult offenders using diversionary options.

South Australian State monthly crime statistics from March 2016 to February 2017 and Eyre and Western Service Local Area monthly crime statistics for the same period also do not appear to support the lower incidence of crime claims by Human Services Minister Alan Tudge and Social Services Minister Christian Porter.

Uniting Communities, formerly UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide and the Adelaide Central Mission, observed on 14 March 2017:

The Report states a decrease in overall crime in the Ceduna trial site. However, the statistics for a range of crimes, as provided by SAPOL for the Eyre Western LSA over the past 12 months when compared to the previous year, indicate an increase in offences against property and against the person. Most notably, there was a 111% increase in robbery and related offences, and a 400% increase in non-aggravated robbery.

Schrapel says, ‘It’s alarming to note that the Minister for Human Services has indicated in an interview today with ABC News that the crime figures in the Report were “preliminary and not conclusive” and yet this very same crime data has been used to validate the extension of the Cashless Card. Surely we need a more rigorous assessment of such evidence before it is used to justify a major policy announcement’.

Because DSS frequently relied on broader SLA statistics perhaps local media can be useful in fleshing the situation on the ground out a little more.

Ceduna Local Government Area has an estimated resident population of 3,716 people and The West Coast Sentinel  covers local news in the region.

Here are some of the crime reports in this newspaper during the cashless debit card trial period as of 22 April 2017:

18 April 2017:
Two Ceduna businesses were broken into early last Thursday morning. Items were stolen from Spry's Newsagency and Mitre 10, while the Ceduna Sailing Club was also damaged. Police are investigating the incidents, with electrical items and cigarettes stolen from the newsagency. Eleven mobile phones, including Samsung, ZTE and HTC brands and a Telstra Essentials black tablet were stolen along with a number of packets of ciagrettes.

3 April 2017:
A man was arrested after being caught drink driving at Koonibba on Sunday morning. Police stopped the vehicle just after 1am and requested the driver submit to a breath test.
He was directed to attend the Ceduna Police Station for further testing but became agitated and attempted to walk away.
He was arrested for refusing to obey reasonable police direction, driving under the influence with an alleged reading of 0.162 and resisting police. He was issued a 12-month loss of licence.

30 March 2017:
Four drink drivers were caught at Ceduna and Streaky Bay late last week including a driver detected during a school drop-off.

2 March 2017:
Police stopped the car and found three women and three children aged 9, 8 and 4 all not wearing seatbelts.
The 32-year-old driver was breath tested and returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.120 per cent.
Further checks revealed she only held a learner's permit.
The Ceduna woman was reported for a number of traffic offences including drink driving, breaching learner's permit conditions, failing to ensure passengers were wearing seatbelts and driving with unrestrained children in the car.
The car was also defected and impounded for 28 days and the woman was issued with a six-month instant loss of licence.
The adult passengers were also fined with failing to wear a seatbelt.

2 February 2017:
A MAN had his licence suspended for a year after he was caught drink driving in Ceduna last Thursday.
Police stopped a Ford station wagon on Denial Bay Road at about 4.30pm and breath tested the male driver who returned a positive reading of 0.165 per cent.

Just before 8pm, police stopped the woman as she was driving a Holden sedan along Poynton Street for a mobile screening test.
The 31-year-old Ceduna woman provided a positive preliminary breath test and later returned a breath test result of 0.134 per cent.
She lost her licence for six months and will be summoned to appear in court at a later date.

12 January 2017:
TWO youths were arrested following a police pursuit with a stolen van at Ceduna last week.

8 December 2016:
POLICE reported a man for speeding and drink driving in Ceduna last Thursday.
Police were conducting speed detection duties along the Eyre Highway west of Ceduna when they detected a car travelling at 124 kilometres an hour in a 110km/h speed zone.
Police breath tested the driver who allegedly produced a blood alcohol reading of 0.114 per cent.
The 46-year-old was issued with a six-month instant loss of licence and had his car impounded.

27 October 2016:
A WEST Coast man was arrested following a domestic disturbance in Ceduna last Tuesday night.
Police were called to Goode Road following reports that a woman had been stabbed. She was found adjacent to the Eyre Highway with a stab wound to the leg and taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital in a serious condition.
A 54-year-old man was charged with aggravated assault causing serious harm. He was refused police bail and appeared at Ceduna Magistrates' Court the following day.

28 August 2016:
A DRIVER was reported for traffic offences after rolling his car near Penong on Saturday… It seems the driver had taken evasive action to avoid an echidna that was crossing the road.
The 59-year-old Yalata man was reported for drink driving and failing to immediately report the crash to police. He recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.261 - more than five times the legal limit.

10 July 2016:
POLICE have arrested a woman following a domestic disturbance near Ceduna on Friday night.
Police were called to a house west of Ceduna just after 11pm, July 8, following reports that a man had been stabbed.
When patrols arrived, they located a 25-year-old man with stab wounds to his leg. He was taken to the Ceduna Hospital in a serious condition and will be airlifted to the Flinders Medical Centre on Saturday morning.
A woman was arrested at the scene and was also treated for minor injuries at the hospital.
Police advise that both parties were known to each other and this was not a random incident.                                                                                                                                                                                          
16 May 2016:
A 27-year-old man was arrested after leaving his ID at the scene of a break-in at Ceduna on Saturday, May 14.
Just after 5am, neighbours of an elderly resident in Collins Street, Ceduna, woke to the sound of smashing glass.
The neighbours, including an off-duty police officer, investigated the scene and startled the two offenders, who ran off.
One of the suspects left his bank card at the scene and was subsequently arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated serious criminal trespass, two counts of illegal interference, property damage and theft.
It will also be alleged the 27-year-old Koonibba man stole a number of items from a shed.

21 March 2016:
THREE Ceduna men were taken into police custody and were charged with aggravated counts of robbery and serious criminal trespass after cars were stolen and a service station broken into last Wednesday night.
At about 8.45pm, a Ceduna man was allegedly assaulted by three men and had his Holden sedan stolen. Police will allege the trio then drove to Streaky Bay and broke into a service station before continuing to Port Kenny. Once there it is alleged they stole another vehicle which was later located by police near Streaky Bay. The three men were found walking along the highway the following morning and were arrested by Ceduna detectives. They were charged with aggravated robbery, serious criminal trespass and illegal use, and appeared at the Ceduna Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

To an outsider looking in it doesn’t seem like much has changed for the better in relation to criminal activity since Indue's cashless debit card has been in use.

Perhaps ministers Tudge and Porter might like to comment further?

UPDATE


Indue is owned by mutual lenders such as credit unions. It issues payment cards, including pre-paid cards for the likes of Coles and on behalf of the federal government to welfare recipients…….
Indue had $27.4 million in total (tier I and tier II) capital as of June 2015.
It only uses the licence to take deposits on its pre-paid cards for corporations and government clients such as the Department of Human Services.
Mr Garcia has won a government contract to issue cards to welfare recipients in the Northern Territory and Western Australia that limits what they can buy to essential goods, and hopes it will be rolled out nationally.
This could significantly boost profits on its own but it would still need additional capital, he said.
The company made a $3.5 million profit in 2015 on revenue of almost $70 million. It paid its owners a dividend of $12 a share.

The following is information based on the ASIC Current & Historical Company Extract for Indue Ltd, ACN 087 822 464, 3, May 2017.

Indue Ltd is an unlisted public company formerly known as: Credit Union Settlement Services Ltd from 01/12/1992 to 27/03/2001 and Creditlink Services Ltd from 28/03/2001 to 30/11/2005.

Registered address: Level 3, 601 Coronation Drive, Toowong QLD 4066
Appointed Auditor: KPMG

Share Structure: 111,431 fully paid A CLASS VOTING SHARES with total worth declared as $15,521,960 and 14,751 fully paid B CLASS NON VOTING SHARES with total worth declared as $1,743,100. Shareholding not broken down by named shareholders.

Current company directors recorded by ASIC:

PETER TOWNSEND,13 Korogora Street, CRESCENT HEAD NSW 2440
SCOTT RODNEY KING, 116 Bathurst Street, PITT TOWN NSW 2756
ROBERT DAWSON PETIE, 11 Pring Street, TARRAGINDI QLD 4121
AILEEN ELIZABETH CULL, 27 Arabian Place, BLACK RIVER QLD 4818
FRANK GULLONE, 8 Bernarra Court, DONVALE VIC 3111
GEORGE FINLAY BELL, Unit 26, 9 Jardine Street, KINGSTON ACT 2604
STEPHEN ROBERT CAPELLO, 8 Valonia Avenue, SURREY HILLS VIC 3127
SALLY CLARE COLLIER, 325 Whale Beach Road, PALM BEACH NSW 2108