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Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Page: 7695


Senator SIEWERT (Western AustraliaAustralian Greens Whip) (17:54): I want to make a short third-reading contribution following the discussion we just had. I promise I will not speak for long. I thank the minister for the diligent attempt to answer my questions. I say 'diligent' because he did try, but there are so many unanswered questions here. We are being asked to now vote. We are at the very last vote on a bill where there are so many unanswered questions in terms of the funding available, in terms of the evaluation process and particularly in terms of how it will actually work, in practicalities. What are the practicalities of this particular card? Where will it work? What will it cost to fund? We know there are merchant fees. There is a commitment from the government to talk to the local merchants to see if they can get the cost of merchant charges down. We do not know how the minimum cost on EFTPOS is going to work. Certainly that is not going to work outside Ceduna. There is a different process outside Ceduna and inside Ceduna. While we are debating this, we do not know what the third community is that may or may not be in. We do not know how the community bodies are going to work. We do not know whether there will be one or many. There is lots of funding. We do not know what the government have committed in terms of being able to deal with the issues around bank fees. While the government have said there will be no bank fees, we do not know if the amount is capped. We do not know what they have committed. We do not know who the financial provider institution will be. There are so many unanswered questions, despite the minister's diligent attempts to answer our questions.

I come back to the fundamental issue here, which is that income management does not work. This is what this card is. It is effectively income management. This chamber is being asked to vote on a piece of legislation which is ideologically driven, and we actually do not know how it is going to operate. On some of the most basic issues, we do not know how it is going to operate. The Greens will be voting no on this. None of what we heard during the answers to questions convinced us that this is something that should be supported. It did not address the issues of income management, and there are still massive question marks about how this process is going to work. There are so many unknowns.