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Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Page: 7575

Senator SIEWERT (Western AustraliaAustralian Greens Whip) (10:50): I do not think the minister was here—and I apologise if you were—for the whole of the second reading debate, where a number of us outlined why you might need more cash. People have talked about the loss of dignity and feeling demeaned because they cannot access cash if they need to. There are a whole lot of reasons that people may need to access cash. People have talked to me about wanting to be able to access more cash for various reasons. One of those is to be able to go to markets. I have not been to a fresh food market where too many operators have an EFTPOS machine, for example. The op shop in Ceduna does not have an EFTPOS machine. Some op shops do and some do not. There are a whole lot of reasons that people may need access to cash.

They do not have to go before the panel, but people who want to will be dissuaded from going because they will potentially be going to a panel of people who they know really well and who they do not want to have access to their private lives. They do not want to explain their financial difficulties, how they happen to do their shopping or if they want to travel and need more access to cash, for example. The National Welfare Rights Network has outlined their case with examples of having to travel and needing cash or having to have a large amount of cash to contribute to a joint present for somebody.

Again, I am sorry—and I am not trying to be rude—but, honestly, you are displaying the fact that the government does not understand how this will operate and what impact it will have on people at the community level and how they relate to their community.