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Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Page: 7592


Senator SIEWERT (Western AustraliaAustralian Greens Whip) (11:55): I understand what you are saying in terms of your not wanting to tell us what is going on in case people work how to get around it. But what I am interested in is making sure that people can be confident that their every purchase is not being scrutinised. Otherwise it is, 'Goodness me! Look how much they spent at that restaurant—and they are on income support!' This is a trial, and let us not make any mistakes: as I understand, Andrew Forrest wanted this to occur all over Australia, to everybody on income support. Let us be really clear about that. This is what we are trialling here. This is why we are asking. How am I, as an income support recipient who is now caught up in this trial, supposed to be confident that the banking institution and the Department of Human Services are not going through and looking at every purchase I make to check whether I have spent my money appropriately. That is what this is about. Can you please reassure the Senate, and hence the community: what is the process by which that the bank goes through and looks at suspicious purchases?