Woman claims cashless debit card will make her homeless

Kathryn Wilkes says she will be homeless if the cashless debit card is introduced to the Hinkler electorate.
Kathryn Wilkes says she will be homeless if the cashless debit card is introduced to the Hinkler electorate. Annie Perets

KATHRYN Wilkes says if the cashless debit card is introduced to the Hinkler region, she will become homeless.

The Hervey Bay resident expects to remain on a Disability Support Pension for the rest of her life and has been following the development of the payment method over the past two years.

With Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt pushing for the card to be enforced in the electorate, Ms Wilkes is rallying against it.

"Landlords aren't obliged to change to Centre pay to take rent, and many of them will not approve of their tenants having to change to the Indue payment system," Ms Wilkes said.

"It will make me homeless, and will make friends of mine homeless." 

A cashless debit card doesn't allow its holder purchase alcohol, gamble, or get cash out.

Its aim is to tackle socioeconomic problems but Ms Wilkes said that would be better done through investment in services.

"You can't give a card to a drug or alcohol addict and say, you're cured," she said.

"It isn't magic, where are the services?

"I think instead of wasting money privatising safety net, it should be used to fund staff to places of support."

Mr Pitt said that though the conditions of the card would need to be determined if it was to be introduced locally, but said it would most likely not apply to those on aged pension or on a disability support.

Even if she herself wasn't placed on the card, Ms Wilkes said the effects would still hit her personally.

"In the trial in Ceduna, there were reports of students struggling to pay their TAFE fees," she said.

"Is a child like my daughter going to be denied access to education because Induna card doesn't work? 

"It goes against people's human rights, it's totally unAustralian, we are all supposed to be equal citizens." 

Ms Wilkes initiated the 'No Cashless Debit Card/HINKLER REGION' Facebook group which has more than 400 members. 

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