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Tuesday, 27 September 2022
Page: 100

Senator McCARTHY (Northern TerritoryAssistant Minister for Indigenous Australians and Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health) (21:37): There was certainly a view against compulsory income management. There was also the concern in terms of the cashless debit card. The BasicsCard has a history. That didn't begin with grassroots people, as was raised in one of the meetings here; it began with the former Prime Minister and Senator O'Sullivan's former boss, the Forrest family. The BasicsCard came in with the Intervention, and then the CDC came in after the review, the Twiggy Forrest report, and proceeded from there.

To answer your question: people were still unsure about the BasicsCard. There are grannies and women who want to have that, and that was made clear. I certainly know from my own experiences in the Gulf Country that some of them like it; they choose to be on it. But people didn't like the idea of being forced to go onto something. They also raised through those consultations the need for further jobs, concerns around the CDP and the lack of jobs. They also raised the need to have extra services that would give them support, whether it was around care for their children or extra school programs—certainly there were issues around extra housing. They were asking for other things that helped the social lifestyles of families in these communities, but it was very clear from those meetings I've mentioned that compulsory income management was something that they did not want.