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What the Papers Say

Survey finds support for welfare card

Results of the Town of Port Hedland's alcohol management survey show strong support for a cashless debit card.

The survey was held after the Town council agreed to gather community feedback after opposing further restrictions on takeaway alcohol proposed by police.

The Federal Government's cashless debit card program was the clear frontrunner in the survey, with 87 per cent of survey participants supporting a rollout of the card in the Pilbara.

The card is being trialled in the Kimberley and South Australia, and Member for Durack Melissa Price is pushing for its use in the Pilbara.

The card aims to reduce welfarefuelled domestic violence, antisocial behaviour and gambling by participants receiving 80 per cent of their welfare payment into a mainstream debit card account.

Of all survey participants, 64.2 per cent "strongly agreed" and "agreed" with the introduction of a take-away alcohol management system to be managed by the Port Hedland Liquor Accord.

Mayor Camilo Blanco said the survey demonstrated trends in attitudes towards the issue and was not evidence of the broader community's sentiment.

"Now we have this we can use the results to guide how we carry out further consultations with targeted stakeholders," he said.

"It is encouraging to see that there is a positive attitude towards the idea of tackling this issue as a community instead of delegating the responsibility to one or two groups or agencies." 

Last week, Mr Blanco travelled to Canberra to meet with Human Services Minister Alan Tudge to talk about the potential rollout of the cashless debit card and additional funding and support from the Federal Government.

"It's great I can go back to Mr Tudge with these results to show the critical need for the rollout of the cashless debit card," he said.

Source: North West Telegraph.

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