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Wednesday, 3 April 2019
Page: 14613

Mr RICK WILSON (O'Connor) (13:30): I would like to update the House on the cashless debit card trial outcomes that we're seeing in the Goldfields region of my electorate of O'Connor.

I'm very pleased that yesterday this House passed the 12-month extension to the cashless debit card trial, with some amendments proposed by the member for Barton. This card has always had the flexibility for people to be granted an exemption, and I welcome any enhancements to the benefit of anyone who can demonstrate that they don't need to be on the card.

But I'll take this opportunity to give a shout-out to my friends from the Shire of Coolgardie, who were to be here in the gallery today but they've obviously been held up: CEO, James Trail, and president, Mal Cullen. They've just arrived—good to see you! They're here to tell people just how well the card is working.

Yesterday, they did try to meet with the member for Barton but, unfortunately, she had to cancel their appointment. But I'm going to share the good news, which includes documented evidence that this trial is working. In February this year, The University of Adelaide released its cashless debit card baseline data report, which supports feedback from the shires of Coolgardie, Laverton, Leonora, Menzies and the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. It documented positive impacts on the level of alcohol use and associated behaviours; early improvements to child welfare and wellbeing; changes in spending on household items; improvements to financial literacy and management; and positive impacts on crime, family violence and other antisocial behaviours.

The Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce and Industry provided a submission to the recent inquiry into the card, and 87 per cent of respondents said that they believed there were positive changes and that they wanted to see the trial continue.