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Why we oppose the Indue Ltd Cashless Debit Card

This is the post excerpt.

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* Legislation governing the card trial removes Australian Citizens who have committed no crime, from full and equal protection under Anti-Discrimination Law and existing Human Rights legislation.This agreement to segregate income support recipients from the wider Australian community in this manner was not bought before the Australian people. In the current trials, the LNP have put in place the groundwork for a two tiered citizenship status based solely on income source; which is, and in the event of a nation wide card roll out will be, to have intentionally implemented a state of socioeconomic apartheid.

* We reject the notion it is acceptable in any way to force individuals to enter into financial relationships and/or legally binding third party contracts with corporate entities against their will, simply because they are receiving income support benefits.

* We reject the statement this card is ” Just like any other bank card” and make our concerns clear in our video ‘The Healthy Welfare Card Vol;3 Myth Busting : ” Its just like a regular bank debit card ”

* We reject the specious statements aired in press, that millions of lives will be “unaffected” or experience only ” minor inconvenience” when hit by a sudden and forced exclusion from the cash economy, from equality of participation within society, and the social, legal and personal costs of reductions in choice and in citizenship status.

* We reject the notion that the trial locations are a genuine representative sample of the lives and living conditions being faced by the total body of income support recipients across Australia [approximately five million citizens]. We hold that trial results can not be applied unilaterally outside of these trial locations’ unique geographic and micro-socal circumstances.

* We reject the use of unverified data and the welfare stereotypes and prejudices being expressed by Alan Tudge et al, in press and in parliament in order to sway political and public perception towards an antagonistic view of income support recipients. And we reject wholly, the unfounded and unsubstantiated presumption that all people receiving income support suffer from the same disease of alcoholism, or share in addictions, idleness and gambling obsessions. We further reject the assumption that we are all fiscally incompetent, uneducated or under-educated and/or morally and socially deficient in any way.

* We reject the notion that the privatisation of the currently nationalised Australian welfare payments system is in our National Interest; that handing the national welfare budget and payment systems to a private corporation closely affiliated to the current serving government, is anything other than an example of inter-generational political incompetency and stewardship failure. We hold that this attempt at privatisation of one of our largest government portfolio’s is part of a wider as yet undisclosed privatisation agenda and as such, it is and will be undermining to the present and future health and safety of those dependent upon these systems and all citizens who through taxation pay for them.

* We hold that it is inappropriate for a serving government minister and a local council to be currying favor in the press, on social media and in Parliament for further roll outs of the Indue LTD HWC where no independent study or review has been undertaken in either trial site and where full costings and modeling for the intended national roll out of the Indue LTD HWC card have yet to be offered publicly for debate. A situation only compounded given the personal costs being born by individual income recipients have not even been heard formally, let alone evaluated and while the easily estimated expected increase of over 11 billion dollars to the national welfare budget should the card roll out nationally has not been openly declared.

* We particularly reject the lies being told by Alan Tudge and the Ceduna Council in media and in Parliament regarding crime statistics and the percentages of “benefit” being credited to the HWC trial as these percentages are being used to foster in parliament and in the public at large the illusion the “card is working well”. We have proven these claims are false and that Mr Tudges statements are dangerously omissive and have made our proof publicly available for witness in our video “Special Edition” where we clearly show the figures quoted of a 30% decrease in legal contacts and use of alcohol related social services use is NOT owing to the card but to a further exclusion of the most vulnerable population from Ceduna’s town boundaries.

 

 

 

 

 

EXPANSION BILL 2018 Amendment 124PE

The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card Trial Expansion) Bill 2018

This is one of the amendments  governement wants to get passed next week:

Amendment 124PE: “The Minister by notifiable instrument,  may authorise a body, whether incorporated or unincorporated, as a community body, in relation to the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay area, if the body provides, or intends to provide, services relating to the care, protection, welfare or safety of adults, children or families residing in that area.”

This amedment seeks to empower the use of a new defintion of the term “community body” and  seeks to engage unspecified and we must assume, hand picked groups of people and empower them with authorities and permissions they presently do not have, to act in the Departments stead on matter of the CDC or in some other as yet unspecified way in the lives of Social Security recipients in the region ie: Community Panels.

We reject this amendment outright on the following basis’:

  • a) The amendment seeks to empower civilians or corporate entities under law to act in the lives of Social Security recipients, without reference to what powers are being given or what restraints of power are to be put in place.
  • b) The amendment is dangerously obtuse and so open to structural politicial and systemic abuse; ie: It provides no protective requirement, charter/statement of intention, nor any mission/qualifying principles whatever. Literally anyone could form this body.
  • It is the case already that local community panels are hand selcted paid prefferential appointees wthin trial locations. This amendment widens that scope to include ANYONE from ANYWHERE adn hands control to the Government to determine who and where, completely.
  • c) The amendment empowers potentially unqualified groups of individuals outside of the Social Welfare sector and potentially outside of the region itself,  to make decisions or act on behalf of the most vulnerable and at risk people in the trial community without any apparent requirement for accountability, education minimums or obligation to the Senate.
  • d) The amendment is based in assumption, and exacerbates the myth of the “good community leader”. [3]
  • e) The amendment leaves the door open for politically motivated and political party aligned/obliged groups to act upon opposition groups with seeming impunity, and will see individuals established as community authorities without any electoral process or community consent to the same thus undermining the authority of local area councils and the social services frame works already in place while avoiding all accountability and responsibility under those same frameworks.
  • f) This amendment would permit the department to manufacture the appearance of community consent where no actual community consent exists.
  • g) This amendment will remove the right of communities to chose their own representatives.
  • h) Notifiable instruments are not subject to parliamentry scruitiny so  therefore are not subject to Scruitiny of Bills committee.

 

We vehemently challenge the notion that simply being in a position of power within a community in any way automatically qualifies any person in any to consent on behalf of any other member of that community or permits them to give implied consent on behalf of any other person of the community based on position or presumptions of their behaviour or morality ‘ as a class’.

Social Security recipients are citizens, taxpayers and voters; community members and contributors. They are not suspects or criminals. They cannot be reliably judged as a single class and then presumed to be of a certain character or to collectively be afflicted with a certain type of disease or social nature due solely to that financial position.

As was made all too clear given the recent Royal Commission into institutionalised sex abuse and the recent arrest of a person from the Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet on child rape charges in remote regional Australia, many of those that may otherwise fall under the term” Good Community Leaders” have often proven themselves among the worst of the Australian criminal class and offenders. We hold that his needless codifying of rank and privilege external to earned privilege is a dangerous presumption.

The SAY NO SEVEN Community Submission : “Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card Trial Expansion) Bill 2018”

The Say NO Seven Community thanks the Secretary and welcomes the opportunity to make comments to the Senate Affairs Legislation Committee in relation to the above inquiry.
The Say No Seven is a 2200 person strong public online community with an average daily post reach of 7,000 views and an issues post reach of between 30,000-110,000 views. In two and a half years of community liaison, issues writing and active on and off-line protest we have come to represent an authoritative voice and hub of community opposition to the concept and practice of forced income management (Cashless Debit Card).

 

The Say No Seven Community opposes the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card Trial Expansion) Bill 2018 in the strongest possible terms.

 

The primary features of this Bill are:

Amendment 124PQA – To alter economic restrictions and include digital currencies in the prohibited items list.

Amendment 124PD(1) – To expand the roll out of the Cashless Debit Card Trial [CDCT] to the Hinkler Electorate QLD Australia, removing essential trial location limitations put in place by this Senate in February 2018.

Amendment 124PE – To deputise/empower any group of people, regardless of qualification or experience, to act as an authorised “community body”.
1. Amendment 124PQA: The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card Trial Expansion) Bill 2018, Section: 124PQA “Cash-like products” seeks to include the unspecified term “digital currencies” into the list of prohibited items.
This amendment infringes heavily upon the natural economic rights of Australian taxpaying citizens who are Social Security recipients as these rights are defined by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) Part 1 Article 1:

“All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”
This amendment also activates:

• The Right to equality and non-discrimination (ICCPR Article 2.1, 26; ICESCR Article 2.1; CERD; CEDAW; CAT; CROC; CRPD) and,

• Non-diminution of rights (ICCPR Article 5; ICESCR Article 5)

We assert:
a) That the inclusion of digital currencies on prohibited lists bears no relation to the stated cash control objectives of the CDCT.
b) That exclusion from the digital currency marketplace is a breach of economic, social and cultural rights and is radically discriminating against Social Security recipients as a cohort.
c) That digital currencies are part of the digital /online world schema and therefore represent an essential generational and cultural artefact in their own right.
d) That this amendment will impact significantly upon the under 36 year old cohort and others, that may require digital currency access for self advancement and self maintenance ie: the unemployed and under-employed and persons with mental illness.
e) That this amendment is changing the entire nature of the Cashless debit Card legislation from being one of cash restriction for purpose, to one of wholesale economic segregation.
f) That this amendment seeks to remove the right of individuals to transact external to the banking sector in a manner of their own choosing.

On top of the impacts of current CDCT related restrictions on borrowing, lending, assets trading and access to second hand marketplaces- conditions that already fall outside of the CDCTs stated intention of only stopping purchases of alcohol and gambling products, we find the inclusion of this amendment within this Bill, evidence of yet another ideologically motivated imposition protecting corporate entities [the banking sector] in disregard of its impact upon the social welfare of forced trial participants.
This amendment and inclusion of digital currencies in prohibited items lists, bears no relevance to any of the stated social welfare aims and objectives of the CDCT. It is an unjustified, and   unwarranted intrusion of political control over the private economic lives and protected rights of Social Security recipients.

Should this Bill pass, this amendment will set an Australia wide legislative precedent for unilateral and forced economic exclusion from the non banking sector marketplace.
It marks a significant escalation of the intentional segregation of Social Security recipients themselves from the wider community and economic sphere, and undermine their rights and responsibilities as free citizens – two realities better understood in terms of their relationship to apartheid legislation circa South Africa 1970.

The intended social welfare outcomes of the CDCT are well described within the Cashless Debit Card legislation and verifiable within the changes already made to the Social Security Act 1999. The Department is on record as clearly stating that the intention of the CDCT is to quarantine 80% of CASH Social Security payments as a means to resolve alcohol, gambling and drug abuse problems in effected communities.
This amendment is therefore, a midstream alteration to that existing pretext and impacts the entire CDC legislation as much as Australian economic reform going forward.
In terms of real world impact and effect, this amendment will completely segregate people in receipt of Social Security payments from access to the crypto-currency economic marketplace and in doing so, it will also exclude them from engaging within the currently booming non banking sector jobs market and online dedicated digital career networks.
It seeks to remove peoples choices beyond the stated aims of the program, reducing both employment options and undermining the right to choice in currency transacting on fundamental levels the Department is not currently empowered to do in Law, let alone this legislation.
This amendment transforms the entire CDC legislation from one that held focus on the issue of social welfare and selected groups, into a full scale assault upon the economic rights of taxpaying Australian citizens as a whole. It is an issue of serious and large scale economic reform being concealed in supplementary legislation, intended not to be noticed. The precedent this amendment will set into law, will have far wider implications ongoing, for everyone.
Returning to the scope of this submission, it is clear to us that in removing the un/under employed from access to such a lucrative job market alone, stands in contradiction to both the goals of the CDCT itself and the Departments wider “welfare to work” principles.

We have also had significant feedback from our community members that this amendment will also negatively impact persons with mental health illness as a sub-cohort, especially those persons experiencing CPTSD, who, in the reduction of face to face clinical service opportunities in the current climate, are more likely to engage in online activities such as counselling and online therapy programs and therapeutic games as clinical and non clinical support measures – many of these services require access to alternative currency and digital currency based applications.
2. Amendment 124PD(1): The Hinkler region community has not given its consent to any expanded roll out of the CDCT in their region.

To the contrary, the Hinkler electorate community has been very clear in its public opposition and have made significant efforts on both public and political levels to demonstrate this opposition.

Community consent for this fourth trial site expansion has not been achieved as required by the legislation.

The Say No Seven, as a Community group embracing several hundred Hinkler region members:

• Support and amplify the visible and vocal opposition to any CDC roll out in the Hinkler Community that has, for a sustained period of time [14 months] shown that there is little active community support for the CDCT beyond the ranks of politically aligned corporate and otherwise invested entities. It has been demonstrated clearly by petition and protests made by opposition voices that the community does not want the trial to go ahead and that community members have not given prior and informed consent.

• We support the withdrawal of prior support for the CDCT in Hinkler region by several local agencies and service providers, who’s testimony is on video record and submitted to this Senate Inquiry in link form below. [1]

• We reject any notion it is acceptable for business groups, local councils, so called and unspecified ‘community leaders’ and politicians to supply consent third party on behalf of individual Centrelink payment recipients. We can find no justification or legal precedent under the Social Security Act nor in any Human Rights and Non Discrimination legislation that would legally empower any member of a community to give third party consent for any other individual external to the Mental Health Act and State Trustee exemptions.

• The lack of first party consent within the Hinkler region along with general community opposition, has been clearly represented to this Senate before. [Tabled testimony and documents supplied to the CDC Senate inquiry Canberra November 2017]
Furthermore, the active exclusion of Social Security recipients themselves by Keith Pitt MP, from local area meetings and decision making discussions about the intended trial, represent a failure of the ‘community consultation process’ and stand as evidence of an increasingly patronising, punitive and top down approach in action.

• We contend that obtuse amendments empowering Community Panels process within the CDC legislation are an unacceptable infringement upon Human Rights, Economic, Privacy and Non Discrimination legislations and remain a wholly unacceptable and unaccountable process that exposes Social Security recipients to invasions of personal privacy and previously unheard of levels of psychological and civil liberties abuse as noted in our prior submission to the 2017 Senate inquiry. [6]

Continuation of the Communities Panels process in the Hinkler electorate risks increasing the consumer base placed at risk of the impacts of malicious abuses of power and position and all social and legal consequences ongoing the same implies.

• We actively refute claims made by the State representative Keith Pitt MP of ‘wide community consultation’ and ‘overwhelming community support’ as demonstrably unsubstantiated, intentionally deceptive and highly politically motivated. These claims are not inclusive of the views or voices of opposition groups or representative of those directly impacted ie: Social Security recipients themselves, and they stand in contradiction to evidence already presented to this Senate in Nov 2017.

• We submit to this committee now [to accompany the 850+ organic signatures already collected from the Hinkler community presented to Senate in Nov 2017] the results of our own online petition to the Minister, a further 2700 organic signatures collected by us, that clearly demonstrate a significant presence of community opposition to Cashless Debit Card Trials. [2]

 
3. Amendment 124PE: “The Minister by notifiable instrument, authorise a body, whether incorporated or unincorporated, as a community body, in relation to the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay area, if the body provides, or intends to provide, services relating to the care, protection, welfare or safety of adults, children or families residing in that area.”

 
This legislation seeks to empower the use of a new term “community body” and, selectively to the Hinkler Electorate, seeks to engage unspecified and we must assume, hand picked groups of people with authorities and permissions they presently do not have, to act in the Departments stead of matter of the CDC or in some other as yet unspecified way in the lives of Social Security recipients in the region.

 

We hold that this inclusion has been required at all, only due to the large and vocal opposition to the CDCT in the area and the recent withdrawal of support by community service groups and service providers. It stands as further evidence that widespread community opposition does exist and that no registered group has already formed willing to retain this title or authority.

 

We vehemently challenge the notion that simply being in a position of power within a community in any way qualifies a person in any to act on behalf of any other member of that community without their consent, or permits them to give implied consent on behalf of any other person of the community based on position or presumptions of their behaviour or morality ‘ as a class’.

 

Social Security recipients are citizens, taxpayers and voters; community members and contributors. They are not suspects or criminals. They cannot be reliably judged as a single class and then presumed to be of a certain character or to collectively be afflicted with a certain type of disease or social nature due solely to that financial position.

 

As was made all too clear given the recent Royal Commission into institutionalised sex abuse and the recent arrest of a person from the Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet on child rape charges in remote regional Australia, many of those that may otherwise fall under the term” Good Community Leaders” have often proven themselves among the worst of the Australian criminal class and offenders. We hold that his needless codifying of rank and privilege external to earned privilege is dangerous, presumption and immoral.

 

We therefore reject this amendment outright on the following basis’:

a) The amendment seeks to empower civilians or corporate entities under law to act in the lives of Social Security recipients, without reference to what powers are being given or what restraints of power are to be put in place.

b) The amendment is dangerously obtuse and so open to structural and systemic abuse;

ie: It provides no protective requirement, charter/statement of intention, nor any mission/qualifying principles whatever.
c) The amendment empowers potentially unqualified groups of individuals outside of the Social Welfare sector to make decisions or act on behalf of the most vulnerable and at risk people in society without any apparent requirement for accountability, education minimums or obligation to the Senate.
d) The amendment is based in assumption, and exacerbates the myth of the “good community leader”. [3]
e) The amendment leaves the door open for politically motivated and political party aligned/obliged groups to act upon opposition groups with seeming impunity, and will see individuals established as community authorities without any electoral process or community consent to the same thus undermining the authority of local area councils and the social services frame works already in place while avoiding all accountability and responsibility under those same frameworks.
f) This amendment would permit the department to manufacture the appearance of community consent where no actual community consent exists.

 

Further:

We call the inquiries attention to the following major concerns:

• Aside from the larger issue of the privatisation of the National Social Security payment systems via outsourcing of these systems to the Indue Ltd corporation, we draw the committees attention to the issue of the privatisation of Social Security payments themselves and the loss of legal authority over payments.

 

We assert, that by placing funds ordinarily earmarked for the private bank accounts of Social Security recipients into Indue Ltds accounts, the Department is circumventing Social Security Law intended to protect recipients from predatory practices, without concurrent explanation or amendment changes to empower these laws existent within this or any CDC related legislation. These changes have certainly has not been released to the parliament, media or made public. Yet they exist within the current legislative framework.

 

We refer committee to the Guide to Social Security Law Version 1.241, released 5th February 2018, and to Article 8.4.3 “Protection of Payment” therein which states:

“Once a social security payment has been paid into a recipient’s bank account it is no longer a social security payment under the Act. It becomes part of the recipient’s funds”.
However, despite the existence of this law, the redirection of payments to Indue Ltd itself for third party ‘management’ means that these lawful entitlements no longer legally become the property of Social Security recipients at all under the CDC/CDCT legislation.
Instead, these funds belong solely to Indue Ltd and the entire system of Social Security payments is effectively transformed into a system of Credit.

 

This issue has never been addressed by this Senate and we are compelled to ask, why?

 

We assert that transferring individual Social Security payments to this corporation is a breach of Article 8.4.3 “ Protection of payment” and that the Department, are literally handing hundreds of millions and potentially multiple billions of dollars in what they are calling “free money” [in reality, our taxes paid in lawful benefits] to a politically friendly, unsecured corporate entity, that remains unaccountable to almost all industry codes and remains unaccountable to this Senate itself.

 

We find this usurping of the Social Security Laws that are specifically intended to protect recipients from just this form of predatory trade practice, and this action as a whole that completely strips legal ownership of Social Security payments from the hands of forced trial participants, is simply unconscionable.

We seek an explanation and legal justification for this action from the Department via this committee .

 

• We contend that these proposed amendments to the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, will tacitly authorise an incremental nation wide roll-out of the Cashless Debit Card as a program deployment, before all pertinent data has been accumulated and assessed, and that this presents unacceptable social, financial and physical risks to people within the Hinkler region community.

 

• We hold that the amendment changes contained within this Bill are evidence of a clear intention to alter the purpose of the CDCT program, from that of an investigative policy research trial to outright program deployment, and we maintain that to proceed to program deployment at this time is pre-emptive; that any such deployment would be reckless and uninformed with potentially catastrophic individual and social ramifications.

 

• It is an uncontested fact that the CDCT regime engages and limits a range of human rights. We refer the Committee to the following statement by the Parliamentary Joint Committee that the CDCT legislation must provide:

 

‘… existence of a legitimate objective must be identified clearly with supporting reasons and, generally, empirical data to demonstrate that [it is] important.’
And that:

To be capable of justifying a proposed limitation of human rights, a legitimate objective must address a pressing or substantial concern and not simply seek an outcome regarded as desirable or convenient. Additionally, a limitation must be rationally connected to, and a proportionate way to achieve, its legitimate objective in order to be justifiable in international human rights law.

 
We hold that the Cashless Debit Card 2018 legislation meets neither obligation external to its currently defined and LIMITED trial status. We share our deep concern that when combined with recent classification changes, the removal of existing stipulated trial end dates and midstream expansion efforts do and will undermine trial legitimacy, and will mean that any pretence of the CDCT being a dedicated investigative “trial” is being abandoned. We uphold and support the Human Rights Commission submission to this Senate in November 2017 [3], that states the current legislation fails to justify the infringements upon Human Rights, and so, it fails to meet provisions under the Act for any continuance much less any expansion.

 
• We hold that amending the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 further, will give tacit support to the Departments unsupported media claims that the CDCT has been a “success” when abundant evidence exists including multiple submissions of the lived experiences of forced trial participants made to this Senate in 2017, that demonstrate unchecked and largely unacknowledged breaches of privacy, human and civil rights and consumer rights.

We hold that the Orima Research Evaluation results are in fact contrary to the reports own conclusions and to remarks contained within the Executive Summary.

We put to the Committee that seeking via this Amendment Bill to permit a fourth roll out site, in contradiction to the current legislative permissions is clearly representative of a politically motivated ‘mission creep’ and indicative of an undisclosed agenda and unilateral decision making in progress.

 

• We assert that the Orima Wave 2 reports findings themselves demonstrate clearly that the return of essential funding to local services and more effective coordination of resources by these services, rather than the efficacy of imposed forced income management itself, has been the key factor in the few observable productive results reported within Orima Wave 2.
• We hold that the CDC is at root, a structure of socio-economic apartheid, that intentionally segregates in the majority, people who are not considered “at risk” within the “welfare class” from equality of access to the rights, privileges, protections and freedoms enjoyed under law by general society, without just cause. We hold that this is in itself an act of collective punishment, and that any institutional or structural apartheid structure, intentionally created or not, is wholly wrong and immoral and works actively against the principles and values of the Australia way of life.

 
• We hold that issues of addiction and social violence are health and policing issues and are not a direct product of, or exclusive to, the receipt of centrelink payments. We find that the presumption of causation being presented to the community by pro-card politically invested groups is born of social and media generated stereotypes and is not represented in related data. We hold that available data has been utilised as a pretext and marketing tactic by the Department in order to further the agenda of the CDC as a policy.

 
Further, we add that contrary to the views held by Keith Pitt MP and the Department, the reality of increasing numbers of people seeking assistance and support for addictions, gambling and drug/alcohol is not negative outcome at all, rather, it is evidence of the success of media and social activism designed specifically to bring people to help and support services when needed.

We hold that to use any data collected from that effort in such a manner that undermines participants human, civil, privacy and economic rights; that excludes them from full and active participation in community as the CDCT does, is an inappropriate use of data and an abuse of power and position. It is manipulative and deceptive.

 

• We remind the committee that significant conflicts of interest remain regarding the corporation managing the CDCT payments systems and these have not been acknowledged or addressed by this Senate at all. [4]
Aside from ongoing concerns regarding the relationship of Larry Anthony [current National Party President] with the Indue LTD Corporation as one time CEO and now Indue Ltd’s primary industry lobbyist under SAS Group Holdings, there are some basic problems and issues that have arisen with Indue Ltd as facilitator of the card program itself that do require attention and addressing as well and to proceed with expansion while these matters are outstanding would be negligent and a significant breach of duty of care.

 

These include:

(a) The fact that Indue Ltd is not a bank, and as as shareholder based for-profit ADI, they are not able to provide the full range of banking protections or services to their clients let alone to place the complex issues of active Social Welfare above corporate profit making. They a re not held to the same standards as banks, nor regulated in the same manner as banks are.

(b) Indue Ltd is not a subscriber to the Centrelink Code of Operation.

(c) Indue Ltd is not a subscriber to any industry code of conduct, like the Code of Banking Practice or the Customer-owned Banking Code of Practice.

(d) Indue Ltd does not have any experience in retail banking.

(e) Indue Ltd does not have any experience in social welfare or working with people in poverty or in crisis situations.

(f) Indue Ltd is an unelected, non representative body acting as a government agent, yet they remain unaccountable to our Senate.

(g) Indue Ltd has already made significant errors with payment handling in the current trial  zones that have created significant distress for forced trial participants. Indue Ltd has not been held accountable.

 

• We call the Committees attention to the issue of negative consumer impacts [4], and the reality that the Department have failed to address in any meaningful or respectful manner any report of distress being experienced by forced trial participants to date in any trial area; this, despite two prior Senate inquiries and the vocal and visible presentation of details of this duress and distress presented by submissions and petitions to minsters, councils, media, the Senate and to the general public.

 

Complaints and hardships and the personal lived experience of negative impacts of the CDCT in and upon the lives of forced trial participants have been routinely negated, and dismissed by the Department, often in the rudest, most disrespectful and vilifying manner.

This distress and evidence of significant hardship across all CDCT sites includes but is not limited to:

◦ Loss of income: increased bank fees and new $10 “inbound fees” that are being applied to participant transfers.

◦ Inability to flee violence.

◦ Inability to engage in every day cultural practices.

◦ Minimum spends at local shops impacting cash portion and quarantined portions of income. ◦ Indue LTD has not been investigating lost payments or late payments. People are unable to pay council rates.

◦ The acute distress of forced participants not being taken seriously by government representatives.

◦ Hunger strikes.

◦ Miscarriage [reported to our confidential drop box]

◦ Inability to access basic shopping services such as Woolworths and Coles online.

◦ The refusal of many people to activate cards leaving the most vulnerable in extreme and abject poverty.

◦ Entire communities in Ceduna and Goldfields were not consulted at all (example: Kambalda WA)

◦ Increased social and financial predatory behaviour inflicted upon those on CDCT by other community members and visiting criminals including: rape, fiscal manipulation, card on selling, child rape and physical abuse, street assaults, theft, grafting by store owners.

◦ Increases in mental health distress and increased completed suicides.

◦ Increases in youth crime and disaffection.

◦ Impact of aggressive policing, move on orders, leading to the isolation of many communities and individuals within communities.

◦ The bullying, stalking, doxxing and active ‘trolling’ of anti-card dissenters by minsters of this Parliament, paid political activists, and certain allied members of the general public.

◦ Reports from participants of increasing inability to cope with simple budget management given the complexity of split incomes.

◦ Indue Ltd transfer restrictions and the reality of no joint access on couples who must ‘financially divorce’ to continue to receive payments and pay bills, along with a plethora of other stress inducing issues being reported widely in media and in community forums
by CDCT participants themselves.

◦ Experiences of the bullying and ‘strong arming’ of local shop owners, service groups and businesses by the Department in trial regions and targeted regions.

◦ Inconstancy: Indue LTD staff at shop fronts in trial locations saying one thing to CDCT participants and the Department saying another.

◦ Increases in Domestic Violence.

◦ Increased racism and racial attacks.

◦ Increases in crime.

◦ Increases in “3 evils” behaviours.

◦ Loss of dignity and equality.

◦ Inability to purchase life saving medical equipment.

◦ Segregation/ongoing social exclusion from every day cash only family outings.

 

• We reaffirm to this committee this Committee that the Indue Ltd Cashless Debit card is not “just like any other visa debit card’:

◦ Normal visa debit cards: Do not prohibit you from accessing Bpay using your personal account number. The CDC does.

◦ Normal visa debit cards: Can be used to purchase gift cards and motel stays. The CDC cannot.

◦ Normal visa debit cards: Are not driving their users to suicide or to prostitute themselves for access to cash. The CDC is.

◦ Normal visa debit cards: Do not subject the card user to social stigma, demeaning or dehumanising abuse from store keepers or the general public. The CDC does.

◦ Normal visa debit cards: Can be used to make purchase on Gumtree, Amazon, Kindle, Ebay, Pay Pal. The CDC cannot.

◦ Normal visa debit cards: Do not remove or impinge upon a card users Banking/Economic/Consumer Rights or impinge upon a users Human Rights, Privacy and Civil rights. The CDC does.

◦ Normal visa debit cards: Have fraud, charge back and investigation/redress protections that apply to all card users equally. The CDC does not.

◦ Normal visa debit cards: Do not require you to be subject to third party partitioning of your income, that restricts spending transfers and payments to nominated ‘categories’ you did not choose for yourself. The CDC does.

◦ Normal visa debit cards: Cannot be forced onto you by coercion and duress. The CDC can and is.

◦ Normal visa debit cards: Do not block your access to cash advances and freedom of bank transfers between accounts. The CDC does.

◦ Normal visa debit cards: Do not undermine your life long credit rating, limit banking
choices and housing opportunities. The CDC does.

◦ Normal visa debit cards: Do not require card users to ask for permission from the State, to spend, transfer or redirect personal income. The CDC does.

◦ Normal visa debit cards: Are not an instrument of ideology or government policy. The CDC is.

◦ Normal visa debit cards: Do not remove a card users political agency in their community. The CDC does.

◦ Normal visa debit cards: Do not morally judge or presume a card users fiscal, physical, social or moral competency. The CDC does.

◦ Normal visa debit cards: Do not impinge upon a person’s right to autonomy. The CDC does.

◦ Normal visa debit cards: Do not usurp legal ownership of your income. The CDC does.

 

These 28 examples, of over 150 plus similar examples available, sufficiently demonstrate that there are indeed substantial practical, ethical and functional differences between the CDC and “a regular visa debit card” the most disturbing of which, is the simple fact that the CDC financially segregates Australian tax paying citizens from their communities and the rights held by every other Australian citizen.

 

The Say No Seven Community recommends;

 

• As this legislation does not meet Human Rights standards and has been sufficiently proven to be an illegitimate and ineffective mechanism in meeting its stated objectives, we recommend that all CDC trials be halted immediately and forced participants returned to regular payments systems.

• That if it must remain in any form, the CDC transition to voluntary program offered on an ‘opt in’ basis.

• That forced third party income management should be imposed upon a person only when that person has undertaken an individual assessment and is clearly shown to be unable to manage their income or in need of direct intervention by a court of law. Even then, with severe Senate oversight, maximum duration/sunset clauses and with the offering of wrap around individually tailored services.

• That compensation be paid to forced trial participants under the current CDCT program for economic losses and personal suffering.

• That all sums earmarked for CDCT and CDC expansion be directed instead to rebuilding the infrastructure of the social services networks in communities; for engagement program development; building of Youth centres and diversion programs; anti-poverty programs; for social housing and social inclusion groups, and to those registered social welfare and health agencies specialising in the aid of persons with addiction problems and those in need of more intensive employment support.

 

In conclusion, the Indue Ltd Cashless Debit Card cannot and does not address individual or wider structural social and economic problems, including those underlying and causing, addiction, ‘welfare dependency’, under and unemployment, violence and sexual abuse impacting our communities and children today. In any authentic cost/benefit evaluation, the CDC falls desperately short of meeting any reasonable expectation of fairness, efficacy and efficiency.

 

The Say No seven community supports and affirms the 2017 submission to the Senate by the St Vincent de Paul Society [7], an excerpt of which states:

Instead of paternalistic and ideologically driven measures such as income management, we need a comprehensive set of policies that are grounded in evidence of what works, and that tackle the underlying causes of poverty and inequality.
We too insist that:

“…the considerable resources expended on the cashless welfare card and other paternalistic measures could be better spent on improving the adequacy of income support payments, investing in education and job creation and funding appropriate and effective services for struggling individuals and families.

 

We thank the committee for this opportunity to present to this inquiry.

The Say No Seven Community

 

 

 


Links:
[1] Hinkler Electorate Community Meeting video – [time stamp: 7m16s] The public withdrawal of prior of support for the CDC by local service providers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czT1ljrZXO8&feature=youtu.be&t=7m16s
[2] Petition to the Australian Senate opened by The Say No seven community bearing 2,748 organic signatures at time of sending: https://goo.gl/1qdbqf
[3]Hypocrisy and the Myth of the ” Good Community Leader”. https://goo.gl/idHsAN
[4] “Failing to report Goldfield’s distress, MP Rick Wilson focuses on the push for a Hinkler electorate roll out of the Indue Cashless Debit Card” : https://goo.gl/R11Yh3
[5] Guide to Social Security Law Version 1.241 – Released 5 February 2018 8.4.3 Protection of Payment http://guides.dss.gov.au/guide-social-security-law/8/4/3
[6] SN7 Community Submission to the Nov 4th Cashless Debit Card 2017 Senate Inquiry: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GdYSKlc7nnn3c8tybvtybKykZ5gFLMNZ/view
[7] St Vincent de Paul Society Senate submission Nov 2017: https://www.vinnies.org.au/icms_docs/279095_Cashless_Welfare_Card_Briefing_Dec2017.pdf

The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry 2017.

The Say No Seven Community Submission: Senate Committee of Inquiry : CDC Amendment Bill 2017
The Say No Seven is an 1020 person strong public online community with an average daily post reach of 7,000 views and an issues post reach of between 30,000-57,000 views. In two years of community liaison, writing and protest we have come to represent an authoritative voice of community opposition to the concept and practice of forced income management (Cashless Debit Card). Online and off-line, and in close association with community groups, academics and CDCT participants across Australia, we have been privileged to lend social, research and material support to communities undertaking CDC trials and those targeted for card trial expansion. We are lay researchers, service workers, industry and academic writers, parents and carers, centrelink payment recipients and employed people, embracing a wide social spectrum covering most political and economic demographics.

 

Why we are here:

The Say No Seven Community opposes the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card ) Bill 2017 in the strongest possible terms. The primary feature of this Bill is to remove section 124PF of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, which specifies that the cashless debit card trial will ‘occur in up to three discrete locations, include no more than 10,000 people, and will end on 30 June 2018’.

We oppose the removal of Section 124PF of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 for the following reasons:
• We assert that Section 124PF of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 frames the CDCT as it was presented to the Australian people – an investigative policy research test and trial subject to time restriction and evaluation. To alter this framework at this time, is to alter the nature and intention of the process as a whole.
• We contend that removal of Section 124PF of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, will tacitly authorise an incremental nation wide roll-out of the CDC as a program deployment, before all pertinent data has been accumulated and meaningful response by the community to Wave Two data can be received and assessed.
• We hold that removal of Section 124PF of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999, represents a betrayal of trust to current CDCT communities and to targeted communities that were both specifically informed that there would be trial end
The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
dates, and who were specificity not told that the CDC would be permanent fixture. Permission has not been sought from any current or targeted community or individual for any CDCT continuance beyond 2018.
• We hold that removal of Section 124PF of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 will give support to the Departments claim that the CDCT has been a “success” when abundant evidence exists that demonstrates the Orima Research Evaluation results are in fact contrary to the reports own conclusions and to remarks contained within the Executive Summary.
• We hold that seeking to remove of Section 124PF of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 at this time is pre-emptive; an effort to hasten and solidify expansion of the CDC as a program in light of increasing community awareness of the program and rising media interest and community resistance to the CDC as evidenced in the direct withdrawal of “community consent” by over 20 key Indigenous Elders, leading community members and groups within current and targeted communities.
• We assert that the Orima Wave 2 reports findings themselves demonstrate clearly that the return of essential funding to local services and more effective coordination of resources by these services, rather than the efficacy of imposed forced income management itself, has been the key factor in the few observable productive results reported within Orima Wave 2.
• We contend that the Community Panels process within the CDCT is a breech of Human Rights, Privacy and Non Discrimination legislation and remains a wholly unaccountable process that exposes centrelink recipients to invasions of personal privacy and previously unheard of levels of psychological and civil liberties abuse. Continuation of the CP process risks potentially malicious abuses of power and position and all social and legal consequences ongoing the same implies.
• We hold that the CDC is at root, a structure of fiscal and social apartheid, that intentionally segregates in the majority, people who are not considered “at risk” within the “welfare class” from equality of access to the rights, privileges, protections and freedoms enjoyed under law by general society, without just cause. We hold that any apartheid structure, intentionally created or not, is wholly wrong and immoral, and works actively against the principles and values of the Australia way of life.
• We hold that issues of addiction and social violence are health and policing issues and are not a direct product of, or exclusive to, the receipt of centrelink payments. We find that this presumption of causation, born of social and media generated
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
stereotypes is not represented in related data and has been utilised as a pretext and marketing tactic by the Department in order to further the agenda of the CDC . We assert that the changes proposed in this Amendment Bill are more than cosmetic as the Minister has suggested. We find they are critical and that they will impact and alter the current protective framework afforded to forced and voluntary trial participants within the CDCT process. We put to the Committee that seeking via this Amendment Bill to replace the word “trial” with the word “program” and the reclassification of current and future participants from “trial” to “program participants” is clearly representative of ‘mission creep’ and indicative of undisclosed unilateral decision making in progress. We argue that the amendment changes are evidence of an intention to alter the purpose of the CDCT program, from that of an investigative policy research trial, to outright program deployment and we maintain that to proceed to program deployment at this time is preemptive; that any such deployment would be reckless and uninformed with potentially catastrophic individual and social ramifications. Human Rights concerns, to date negated almost entirely by the Minster and called “horseshit” by Mr Andrew Forrest, are legally and legislatively critical in advancing this Bill in and with safety. We refer the Committee to the following statement by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights on the standing limitations of impinging on peoples protected rights: ‘… existence of a legitimate objective must be identified clearly with supporting reasons and, generally, empirical data to demonstrate that [it is] important.’
And that : ‘To be capable of justifying a proposed limitation of human rights, a legitimate objective must address a pressing or substantial concern and not simply seek an outcome regarded as desirable or convenient. Additionally, a limitation must be rationally connected to, and a proportionate way to achieve, its legitimate objective in order to be justifiable in international human rights law.’
We express our view that the CDCT does neither external to its defined trial status. We share our deep concern that when combined with classification changes, the removal of existing stipulated trial end dates will mean that any pretence of the CDCT being a dedicated investigative “trial” is being abandoned and with it, these legislative Human Rights, Privacy Rights and Economic Rights limitations that secure the protection of individuals and ‘classes’ subject to CDC. This Amendment Bill, if approved, will therefore mean that the CDCT will no longer be in practice, ‘what anyone signed up for’.
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
We contend that intentionally obfuscating media reports and press releases by the Department have impacted the social view of the reports results to such an extent that critical data referring to CDC failures, has not been absorbed within the community. Due to the nature and extent of this propaganda, we find amongst the community that fully informed decision making, is almost impossible. We share with Committee our deep concern, that via this Amendment Bill and the tactical late release of the Wave Two report, that was expected in June 2017 and not released until September 2017, the Minister is ultimately demanding that an uniformed vote be taken on the future of the CDC program as a whole, by this Senate, on November 13th 2017. *** We are compelled by the weight of evidence available, to reject the Minsters claim regarding CDCT ‘success’ as presumptive and propagandistic, given this claim has not been found on examination to be corroborated by the quantitative and anecdotal data available in the Wave One or Two Orima Report Evaluations. We also express our deep concern at the methods used within the evaluation reports, both their substance and quality and the use of retrospective studies that rely on questionnaire data, as these are generally regarded as junk or ‘fillers’ in social science research fields. We contend that the Orima Report, on its own, does NOT stand as “empirical evidence” due to major flaws in both design and data presented. Without any hyperbole whatever, we can state to this Committee that any rush to deployment of this policy under these proposed Amendments and without thorough review and full examination of evaluation results, would be to place the lives of current forced and voluntary trial participants, targeted groups and the cohesion of their respective communities at a substantial risk. We offer to this Committee, the benefit of hindsight contained within governments own research via the Social Justice and Native Title Report 2016 [1] and the damning revelations contained therein regarding the consequences of the rushed NT Intervention process. We assert the Social Justice and Native Title Report 2016 stands as qualified evidence of the human, social and financial cost to forced and voluntary participants, and to the Australian community as a whole, when considered evaluative and assessment processes are ignored, when Human Rights are negated and the full measure of consequences of forced income management policies are misunderstood and community concerns dismissed. We also offer the insight of the Evaluating New Income Management in the Northern Territory: Final Evaluation Report:
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
“… rather than building capacity and independence, for many the program has acted to make people more dependant on welfare” – Bray, Gray, Hand and Katz [2][UNSW] We emphatically urge this Committee to please, listen to the voices of the people today who will bear the ultimate cost and consequences of this particular evolution of forced income management and bear in mind the cost any similar haste in premature program expansion. *** We ask this Committee to consider that the Minister has yet to present any case to the parliament or the people for the necessity of further CDC expansion. An unqualified desire and demand for unimpeded expansion is not to our view, sufficient grounds to grant it in light of the failure of the CDC to meet its stated objectives. In light of the lack of actual data available, an the obtuse and anecdotal evidence provided, simply wanting to quarantine incomes of centrelink recipients is not justification to permit it. We offer to the Committee at this time, the insight of several long term government, royal commission and social service agency reports, as well as academic documents that clearly demonstrate that forced income management as a policy to be individually and socially harmful; that stipulate forced income management in fact creates and exacerbates welfare dependence [3a], and that clearly demonstrate a systemic failure of forced income management to meet even the most basic of intended objectives at any point in the last ten years of the concepts history. [3b] We assert that to date, all available medical, judiciary, social science and social justice evidence and the overwhelming consensus of in field experts including the recent public statements of Dr Marianne Jauncey, from the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs , uphold the viewpoint that addictions and social violence are issues best responded to through the public health, social welfare and policing vectors and specifically not via the use of forced income management which will, as is proven via historical data evidence, only exasperate and increase the problems being faced by the most vulnerable and our communities as a whole.[4] If this Amendment Bill is not opposed, it is our view that the CDC will have become an instituted policy purely by default and by means of propaganda, not by its own merits and proven efficacy. Specifically, it will not have progressed via an inclusive and transparent evaluation and testing processes assuring us of its validity and safety – as was promised to the Australian people under the current legislation. The substantial body of evidence-based counter argument to Wave One data aside, we find similarly, that the Orima Wave Two report :
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
a) Does not in itself prove prove beyond dispute that current trials have shown the CDC and implementation of forced income management to have been successful.
b) The evaluation completely omits how socially dis-empowering the trial has been for forced and voluntary participants. In omitting to record CDC related suicides [APA 3i {confidential}] and other deleterious affects of CDC within trial communities [APA3ii] in failing to record CDC related alcohol industry data; to address withdrawals of consent by stakeholders in situ [APA 3iii] and in ignoring highly relevant region wide specific crime statistics [APA 3iv], the Wave Two Evaluation report, does not stand as an inclusive report that can speak to the full range of impacts of the CDCT thus far.
c) In every key area of report, Orima data clearly demonstrates that renewed funding and additional wrap around services funding that enabled drug and alcohol workers to go into the field, that produced a decline in both hospital admissions and a reduction in MAP pick ups. There is no alternative evidence provided that would equate these results with having any relationship to forced income management itself. The data contained within the Orima Wave One has been strongly challenged and widely disputed, as has the skewed interpretations of these results by invested parties. Counterarguments have been documented within the feedback of leading academics, national social welfare and Indigenous groups and many infield community based organisations. [4, 5] ”Three Quarters of all participants said that the CDC has made no positive change to their lives and almost half of all participants said it had made their lives worse; only one-fifth of participants said it had made their lives better.” – Dr Jane Hunt “Some communities argued that the card would be important to curb gender-based violence. However, there are reports that domestic violence has actually increased since the card was introduced. Crime has also increased, yet the government and its evaluation have overlooked such inconvenience in claiming “proof of concept”. Dr Elise Klien “The claim that the card has had a “solid impact” is not clearly borne out by the available evidence. At best, one could claim that there are some seen and self-reported, but not independently verified, reductions in drinking, drug use and gambling. Reported views of participants on the trial varied between those involved in it and those in the general community. “ – Eva Cox “Beyond some limited success with people who have entered into income management arrangements voluntarily, the evidence points to the scheme being unsuccessful in achieving the stated aims of preventing people from spending the money on alcohol, gambling and drugs, or getting people to buy healthy and fresh food. “ – ACOSS
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
Even in the relatively short amount of time since Wave 2 Report release, already leading social researchers, economists and social justice observers are reporting significant failures of the CDCT evaluation to produce explicit data, and have publicly observed that Orima’s collection methods, actual results and key indicators have not been met that would qualify the term “success”. “… data for the CDCT is unreliable because responses have been corrupted by question design and the offering of payment for response”. – Eva Cox Affirmation of this Amendment Bill in light of these qualified opinions and indeed, all qualified assertions from industry sector groups not to mention CDCT participants themselves, would then risk further eroding the hope and expectation among the general public, as much as trial and targeted communities that any meaningful community feedback or consultation could be or would be included and respected within the CDCT evaluation process. *** Why We Oppose Expansion of the Indue LTD Cashless Debit Card
With the awareness that several other community and social welfare industry groups will be focusing on more publicised issues surrounding the CDC in their submissions, we have chosen to focus our attention at this time on four key issues that have yet to be addressed as such in parliament or in media concerning in the CDCT program.
They are:
• The issue of the Misrepresentation of Data and CDC attributes in Media and Parliament
• The issue of Community Panels
• The issue of Coercion and Financial Abuse
• The issue of Economic Segregation
1) The Misrepresentation of key CDCT data and CDC Efficacy:
We refer the committee to Minister Alan Tudges’ statements to Parliament during question time on the 12th September 2016 [3a].
Responding to a question via Minister Price regarding the progress of the Cashless Debit Card Trials, the Minister cited a 30% reduction in poker machine use and a 30% reduction in Sobering Up Clinic admissions within the Cendua CDC trial zone were a direct result of the introduction of the CDCT in that region and so, evidence of its efficacy and ‘success’.
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
We assert that this claim is not factual and that evidence provided to the Consolidated Regional Development Association Western Eyre Peninsula in April 2016 [6] demonstrates that these percentages are in fact, a direct result of a discreet decision by Ceduna Council to cease transporting ‘at risk’ people from the Yalata community to Ceduna during this same time period.
We cite this as one methodological example of many such examples available, as regards the timely misrepresentation of key CDC data in Orima Wave ONE and the early manipulation of facts and data to sway public perception of the CDCT in Parliament and national media.
One further example we offer, refers to the Ministers continual statements in Parliament and media that the Indue LTD Cashless Debit Visa Card is “just like any other visa debit card”. This has become an exacting sound bite that has gravely misled the general public as to the use and nature of the cashless card itself.
Sourced via the Indue LTD Terms and Conditions Document [7] and in part via the lived experience of forced CDCT participants, we offer the following rebuttal to this claim:
• Normal visa debit cards: Are attached to an unrestricted bank account. The CDC is not. • Normal visa debit cards: Are linked to a financial institution or bank of your own choosing. The CDC is not. • Normal visa debit cards: Do not exclude the payment of interest on deposited income. The CDC does. • Normal visa debit cards: Do not require couples to separate finances/ remove access to joint accounts. The CDC does. • Normal visa debit cards: Are not subject to a State supplied mandatory restricted merchants list that may change at any time for any reason the DSS or Indue LTD may decide. The CDC is. • Normal visa debit cards: Do not force card users to accept third party merchant fees upon their spending without alternative or choice. The CDC does. • Normal visa debit cards: Do not restrict purchases and of goods and services that are not related to gambling or alcohol, or those that are. The CDC does. • Normal visa debit cards: Are not subject to limited transfer lists managed third party by DSS and the Indue LTD corporation. The CDC is. • Normal visa debit cards: Enable their users to access pay wave. The CDC does not. • Normal visa debit cards: Can be used to withdraw cash in the event of natural disaster or family crisis. The CDC cannot. • Normal visa debit cards: Comply with the full measure of privacy provisions. The CDC does not.
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
• Normal visa debit cards: Do not prohibit Bpay using your personal account number. The CDC does. • Normal visa debit cards: Can be used to purchase gift cards and motel stays. The CDC cannot. • Normal visa debit cards: Do not subject the card user to social stigma, demeaning or dehumanising abuse from store keepers or the general public. The CDC does. • Normal visa debit cards: Can be used to make purchase on Gumtree, Amazon, Kindle, Ebay, Pay Pal. The CDC cannot. • Normal visa debit cards: Do not remove or impinge upon a card users Banking/Economic/Consumer Rights or impinge upon a users Human Rights, Privacy and Civil rights. The CDC does. • Normal visa debit cards: Have fraud and redress protections that apply to all card users equally. The CDC does not. • Normal visa debit cards: Do not require you to be subject to third party partitioning of your income, that restricts spending transfers and payments to nominated ‘categories’ you did not choose for yourself. The CDC does. • Normal visa debit cards: Cannot be forced onto you by coercion and duress . The CDC can and is. • Normal visa debit cards: Do not block your access to cash advances and freedom of bank transfers between personal accounts. The CDC does. • Normal visa debit cards: Do not undermine your life long credit rating , limit banking choices and housing opportunities. The CDC does. • Normal visa debit cards: Do not require card users to ask for permission from the State, to spend, transfer or redirect personal income. The CDC does. • Normal visa debit cards: Are not an instrument of ideology or government policy. The CDC is. • Normal visa debit cards: Do not remove a card users political agency in their community. The CDC does. • Normal visa debit cards: Do not morally judge or presume a card users fiscal, physical, social or moral competency. The CDC does. • Normal visa debit cards: Do not impinge upon a person’s right to autonomy. The CDC does. These 26 examples, of over 50 plus similar examples available, sufficiently demonstrate that there are indeed substantial practical, ethical and functional differences between the CDC and “ a regular visa debit card” the most disturbing of which, is the simple fact that the CDC financially segregates Australian tax paying citizens.
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
We enlighten the committee as regards other restrictions placed upon card users Indue accounts themselves , account terms that must be complied with or payments are cut off. The following is sourced again from the Indue LTD terms and Conditions document [7], backed up by the lived experience of CDCT forced participants. It has come to our attention that;
Card users may not use their own personal bank accounts number for any bank transfers or payments of quarantined income. They must contact Indue LTD and the Department Of Human Services/Centrelink to arrange any bank transfer needs using their cards VISA number only. They are prohibited from accessing Pay Pal, and Pay Wave.
Bpay payments, if permitted, must be to Indue LTD and DSS approved merchants, must be arranged by Indue LTD and must fit into one of Indue LTDs pre-selected transfer categories. Preselected transfer categories are set and managed for card users by the Department Of Human Services and Indue LTD. Participants income will be appropriated and securely placed into these categories, every fortnight.
To quote Indue directly, ” If the _reason_ for your transfer of funds from your account does not fall within any of the pre-selected categories you will be unable to transact.”
Not only will Indue and the Department determine how a forced card user pays bills and transfers funds, they will judge the quality of the REASON to transfer funds. If the reason does not fit one of their categories, the transaction is automatically restricted.
Forced card users must call Indue LTD direct and explain why they wish a specific merchant to be put on the approved merchants list. Approval is subject to the Department Of Human Services/Centrelink and Indue Ltd permission as well as being subject to the time delay it takes to permit or decline a forced card users request for funds transfer.
Merchants list, approved and disallowed, may change at any time for any reason whatsoever and without notice. Forced card users are specifically NOT permitted to purchase gift cards. Ever.
We implore this Committee to take the issues above into consideration as we argue that since the CDCT program onset in 2015, there has been a multi million dollar media marketing campaign put in place by vested interests, that has unceasingly misrepresented card efficacy and manipulated the publics perception of the CDCT program and the CDC’s utility. This propaganda has extended to include the manipulation of the publics perception of centrelink recipients themselves. Abusive slander not once denounced by the Minister or parliament and statements uttered by Mr Andrew Forrest in media, up to and including the naming of anti-card groups as drunkards and paedophile supporters, has been a shocking abuse of privilege.
We have found that these manipulated depictions of the card and of the people forced into use of the card when combined have been very effective tactics, and are extraordinarily difficult to overcome in the public mindset. In themselves , these actions stand as evidence of abuse of power and position.
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
To add insult to injury, in what we can only describe as a staggering breech of duty of care and an alarming display of contempt, we inform the Committee that to date not one representative of the CDCT team we have contacted; not one voting Senator [sans Greens Senator Rachel Siewert ] and not even one of the Ministers own staff or DSS public CDC consultation representatives have responded ‘yes’, when asked directly if they themselves had read the Indue LTD Terms and Conditions document or the Indue LTD Merchants Terms and Conditions document [8] from which, the above list of “differences” and restrictions was derived. These are terms and conditions every forced or voluntary CDCT participant and every businesses within Trial zones are subject to without recourse, yet at each and every stage of its roll out, including recent private and public meetings within the Hinkler Electorate, officers from the DSS have failed to include this information and have instead, presented misinformed or misleading information that has been easily corrected in situ by informed members of the public in attendance that have read them. We find it unacceptable that after almost two years of CDCT program activity, that people who are representing the Department in meetings, in parliament and in press radio and television , effectively all of those persons who have been entrusted with the responsibility of informing the public and promoting the CDC in the community, remain ignorant of its most basic functions and so, are not informed of the ongoing daily consequences of forced income management being faced by CDCT participants, small businesses and their wider communities in current trial locations. While claiming “considerable positive impact” in his media release 1 September 2017, the Minister again failed to include any bicameral viewpoint of the data supplied within Orima Wave Two report whatsoever. Further, several key details from the Wave Two data that demonstrated significant adverse effects among CDCT participants, were ignored completely in his statement, just as they remain absent in the Orima Wave 2 Executive Summary and Evaluation conclusion. This must be addressed. A one eyed glimpse of half a page, is by any measure of reason, simply not sufficient grounds for this policy to proceed in any direction. We contend that similar to other methods of information obfuscation, Orima data itself is being misrepresented and so we offer the following insights derived from Wave2 data to the committee at this time. These are the ‘other side’ of the Wave Two reports results that have yet to be reported in media. ORIMA WAVE TWO ACTUAL DATA RESULTS
” Change in Behaviour – Drank alcohol ” TOTAL AVERAGE 59% NO POSITIVE OUTCOME
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
” Change in Behaviour – Had 6 or more drinks” TOTAL AVERAGE: 63% NO POSITIVE OUTCOME
” Noticed a change in drinking of alcohol or grog in the community since the Trial started”: TOTAL Average: 62% of people saw NO change in community drinking behaviour.
“Change in behaviour Illicit drug use” 52% NO POSITIVE OUTCOME.
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
“Noticed a change in gambling in the community since the Trial started” Participants: TOTAL AVERAGE 79% NO POSITIVE OUTCOME Non Participants:TOTAL AVERAGE 81% NO POSITIVE OUTCOME
“Change in behaviour since becoming a participant in the CDCT: Gambled ” 53% NO POSITIVE OUTCOME
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
“Violence noticed in the community since the Trial started
“Participants: 80% noticed violence ( 29% reporting violence was worse.) Non participants: 63% noticed violence ( 12% reporting violence was worse)
“Reported ability to save more money than before being a CDCT participant” TOTAL AVERAGE: 50% NO POSITIVE OUTCOME
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
TABLE TEN: Shows across the board increases in every financial distress category. 55% of people unable to buy food, running out of money, needing to borrow money, 45% of people unable to purchase essential items for children. Demonstrably adverse results, measured at 84% levels, “significantly higher at 95% level”.
ORIMA’S OWN ADMISSION OF SUBSTANDARD METHODOLOGY AND DATA COLLECTION INCONSISTANCIES:
[Src: Orima Wave 2 Evaluation:]
As these graphs demonstrate, in not one key area of CDCT KPI is there clear evidence of CDC ‘success’ . Quite the contrary, the data itself indicates a failure of the card to produce exacting result. Data stipulates and supports that over 50% of evaluation participants in all key categories were unresponsive and/or had no positive outcomes. Table ten itself demonstrating clearly that for over 55% of people, living conditions have become worse under forced income management.
Most concerning to factual data representation, is that NO comparative analysis was or has been conducted at all during this trial. This is completely unacceptable practice in any research study.
It essentially means no one knows how life was before the trial began, so in fact, no one can state with unequivocal reliability that any of the ‘data’ within this report shows actual improvement as a direct result of forced income management. Even drops in hospital admissions and MAP pick ups is more precisely explained in the Orima report itself, by the advent of new drug and alcohol field services, that, in sending workers into the communities, removed the need for at risk clients to leave home and enter Ceduna at all.
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
2)The Issue of “Community Panels”: “Centrelink already has a rigorous claimant process, and receiving income support payments should not be something that requires me to be subject to a ‘jury of peers’ having my word, morals and competency assessed by total strangers or worse, people who were once my friends and work associates. It is not a criminal offence to receive income support, yet we are being treated just like that”. – Anon mother, 45yrs
Living on income support payments does not automatically equate to any one individual having financial, moral, addiction or social incompetency issues , yet this is what is assumed by the very nature of the panel process. There are several dozen reasons why anyone may fall into poverty situations , require income support or need help with housing/rental stress situations, only one of these reasons is destructive addictions impacting on family. That the community panel process fails to provide any inclusive caveat, is of deep concern. In the case of the Ceduna panel guidelines, not one word on the pages offered in the Department website includes information or advice for recipients who do not destructively drink’ do not live in SA government housing or have no social or legal problems – even the card panel information brochure shares the same structural deficiencies and critical assumptions and blanket judgements about all income support recipients as the justifications of the CDCT team. PRIVACY The greatest personal concern for most income support recipients we have spoken to, both on the card trial and not, has been the issue of privacy. The key issues are: – At once you apply for a ceiling raise, there is no way to avoid or limit the panels intrusion into a forced participants private life materially, or socially. No protections exist within the process itself, or for applicants within the wider social environment whatsoever. This may not be a large an issue in a city environment, in small towns communities/camps and in regional centrers, this is a nightmare scenario for anyone concerned about discretion and privacy issues and stifles any hope of political dissent or engagement in other areas of community life. A forced participant is literally opening up their entire life for scrutiny to the panel and potentially, an entire town, with the full backing of the State, and may have that, and any information collected, used against them for any reason, at any time. Should the panel see fit to withdraw a participants increase, this would add stigma and judgement atop of insult. Ongoing, this opens the door to abuses politically, socially, and manipulation psychologically. – Card Trial participants are not told who is sitting on the panel prior to application, and so on applying, may encounter hostile receptions and be placed in harms way, due to any past conflicts with sitting individuals. Even if it is a friend of a friend of the sitting individual that has a problem with a participant in some area, this knowledge may interfere with the panellists judgement and nullify any chance of an objective outcome for the applicant. Unable to adequately prepare themselves and to defend themselves, with no legal support on offer at all, this places applicants at
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
significant risk, and in a negative and unbalanced power relationship from the outset. It is literally, the practice of a two tier citizenship structure. – Card Trial participants have no say whatsoever in the selection of panel members. This represents essential exclusion from the panel process and a further presumption, this time of intellectual social and political incapacity or inadequacy in regards to their potential choices of panel members. What’s more, while the privacy’s of panellists’ are fully protected in this process, applicants are not; again this is the essential dynamics of power in the creation of a two tiered citizenship status. – Unlike in a court of law there is no ‘rape shield’ or other legal device that can limit the panel from obtaining details of and applicants past history and using it against them regardless of the time period or behaviour since any event/s. Similarly, there is nothing to stop inter-community vengeance being exacted or even a local disproving busy body from providing malicious information to this unqualified panel against an applicants submission. This opens the door to abuse of the system and gives an extraordinary allocation of power to everyday community members to bully, to manipulate proceedings, the law and applicant human and civil rights and more, to entirely cripple the lives of people they are responsible to. – Panellists – private citizens with no training, qualifications or accountability vectors-, will have access to the applicants most critical and sensitive personal history and data, some of which even police and the department would need to have significant legal just cause in order to collect. This entire system shockingly, relies on an unearned, unaccountable, historically undeserved trust. – Panellists are members of the same community as applicants therefore participants must rely on the morality and discretion of anonymous panellists in their wider social interactions with only verbal trust statements as a guarantee and no real means to hold panellists accountable. Proactive legal protection measures, for most supplicants and due to cost and locations is often poor or simply unavailable and no on site legal support is being offered, while the panellists have full departmental support, protection and access to often aggressive legal and social networks. Panellists may include anyone that someone in the administration position, in the case of Ceduna, Mayor Alan Suter alone decides is fit to add to the panel. These positions on panel are personally preferential appointments – the selected panellists are paid to undertake, with no oversight to ensure that highly vested interests do not take advantage. Again in Ceduna’s case and to some extent in Kununurra forced trial participants have been reliant solely on the judgement and “good will’ of politically pro-card, pro constituency-control often racist and culturally uninformed “good community members”. Opposition voices have been silenced and excluded, cultural implications ignored or misunderstood and “good” has become a relative terminology of judgement dependent solely on a persons income source. In Ceduna, applicants are dependent on the Mayor himself making these arbitrary appointments, and again, are reliant on hope alone to assure themselves that panellists will not bow to Mayoral pressure to allow/disallow raises in cash income in order to avoid complicating their own lives or risking Federal funding. The deck, is clearly stacked and this amounts to placing peoples lives at the mercy of a potentially criminal imbalance and at the very least, an unaccountable honour system.
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
There is NO such a thing as an individual panellist having “no conflict of interest” where someone’s local social reputation precedes their application. THE PANEL PROCESS RISKS APPLICANTS PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY The Kununurra region panel set up requires that a local police officer be a sitting member of the panel process. We consider this a further presumption on the character of all income support recipients, however this also makes the panel process appear more an extended authority system of a court than a community group conciliation process. Police presence is not only extraordinarily intimidating, it can be a nightmare for recipients with PTSD; those who have been harmed by or have been processed through the court and jail systems; and for those abused by police, or in current court cases with police. Without legal support provided in situ or counselling services on offer to specific to applicants, it is an offensive manipulation of normal legal mediation requirements and duty of care principles. There are no governing statements or rulings regarding separation of power, no government statement on who should not be permitted on the panels, and unlike the rest of Australia, for those under forced income support restrictions in the panel process, there are no protections for applicants in regards to ongoing power abuse. A sitting panellist may acquire, during the course of procedures, an exorbitant amount of information and so, power over an applicants life personally, long after the hearing is over – a power that the government simply cannot guarantee will be used appropriately. NEPOTISM: RORTING OF THE PANEL SYSTEM What qualification does it take to sit in judgement of your fellow citizen? What genuinely gives someone the moral right to do so? Are they qualified or skilled in making judgements that will impact peoples lives? Do they need to hold a Social Science degree? A cert 4 in Drug and Alcohol? Mental health qualifications? Community Development credentials? Anything at all? At the time of writing, no screening process, education requirements, knowledge base, history checks, morality/background checks, religious/political checks are undertaken to assess even the mental stability of panellists, on behalf of applicants or to ensure that applicants will and do receive just treatment and the best possible outcomes from the best possible body of panellists. At of the time of writing there appears to be no independently assessed qualification or assessment requirement or vetting process at all. Again, these are arbitrary powers being given to personally preferential appointments , the selected are PAID to undertake, choices often made by a highly invested interests. A forced trial participants annoying next door neighbour may one day be sitting on a panel and deciding their future outcomes. We assert this situation is untenable and in any other social or legal environment in Australia, would be considered completely unconscionable. We ask the Committees empathy and close examination of the validity and efficacy of this entire process.
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
4) The Issue of Economic Segregation:
We hold that via CDCT amendments to the Social Security Act 1999, the Department, informed or ignorantly, are laying groundwork for a two tier citizenship structure in Australia, one based solely on income source. This is the single most deleterious affect of the CDCT in our communities.
We ask this Committee at this time, to consider whether or not centrelink payment recipients, defined under the current CDCT legislation as “the welfare class”, will in practice continue to be equal citizens under Australian law going forward at all.
In the case of those subject to current CDCT legislation, the evidence is clear that in being ‘set apart’ from the rest of the general population as regards equality of access to their income and to the expectation of full economic, civil, privacy and human rights and protections under law, the ‘welfare class’ are quite literally being forced to exist in a state of apartheid*. [*org; “apart-hood”]
Akin to early legislated apartheid structures in South Africa, notably The Population Registration Act of 1959 that required that all inhabitants then to be classified in accordance with their racial characteristics, we have found that under the CDCT amended Social Security Act legislation, this entire group’s determinant level of access to full social, political and economic rights freedoms and protections are being defined and determined purely by which economic group they belong to. We remind the Committee, that alcohol is a legal product, gambling products are legal.
Moral judgements and allegations of racial vilification and targeting surrounding the CDCT at this time aside, it remains, that apartheid is not a racial issue, it is a structural one, and so it is the issue of structure that we are asking this Committee to consider.
The CDCT program, in necessitating regressive and inhibitive changes to existing laws and protections, by nature and practice impinges heavily upon an individuals equality of access to protective legislations afforded their fellow citizens. This is not contested by the Department, and is confirmed by the 27th Report of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights 2016. [6]
We argue that the concept of it being in any way acceptable to force centrelink payment recipients to live life “a little bit restricted” or” a little bit segregated” due solely to the moral ideologies of the government of the day is reasoning akin to one being “a little bit pregnant” and so, it is an unjustified and dangerous precedent and a specious argument we reject outright.
Despite an unequivocal statement released by the Human Rights Commission confirming that the CDCT legislation does impinge upon essential Human Rights and Civil and Privacy rights [3], the Department continues to rely on the ultimately dismissive ‘Compatibility with Human Rights’ statement within its Explanatory Memorandum, a statement that ignores the existence of HRC recommendations regarding the incompatibility of forced income management with positive social welfare policy outcomes in Australia, completely. [3a].
We hold that given its history, to seek to intentionally create structures of apartheid in any form is wrong and beyond the authority of this government under our current constitution. It remains wrong under any justification. Whether these structures are created by intention or via political
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
ignorance or negligence, we assert that apartheid, be it racial, fiscal or social, remains a repugnant draconian policy of power and population control anathema to the Australian way of life .
We bring this issue as a concern to this Committee now, so that it may be discussed and addressed now, in light of the underlying structure the the CDC Amendment Bill is asking Senate to support or reject when it votes on the 13th November 2017. *** 3) The Issue of Financial Coercion and Abuse:
Participants subject to CDCT restrictions are required under the Social Security Act 1999 and related CDC Amendments to enter into a financial relationship with the corporation Indue LTD or risk facing sanction and/or removal of their centrelink payments. In every case we have interviewed for this submission, this relationship has been entered into by force, against the participants will .
A participant ‘signs’ their contract with Indue LTD the moment they “activate” their CDC on the corporations website. This ‘signature’, is considered by Indue LTD to be indicative of “consent” – a legal commitment to adhere to all Indue LTDS Terms and Conditions. These conditions as we have noted are subject to change without advice or notice, as is stated within Indue LTD’s Terms and Conditions brochure and Indue LTD itself, being a private corporation not listed on the ASX, remains unimpeded by Senate oversight and accountability. An unaccountable corporate venture in command of vital payment systems, completely open to market fluctuation and crisis, unaccountable to Parliament or to the Australian people, this is a proposition of unprecedented risk and further evidence of the wholesale privatisation of our national payments systems.
The Department has threatened to remove children from households who wish to refuse to sign this contract. This is disastrous in itself. However given that the capacity to simply provide for housing, paying utilities, to purchase food, the capacity to care for children’s needs and the ability to purchase life saving medication have become immediately under threat upon a participants notice of intent to refuse to enter into this contract, we argue that this requirement of the CDCT meets the standing criteria and legal definition of “coercion”. That this remains ‘acceptable’ within the current framework is itself, malicious and abusive.
We hold therefore, that a forced CDCT participant, being incapable of acting as a free party, can reasonably be considered to be ‘under duress’ when forced to comply with the Departments demand to activate their card.
We assert that this exercise of coercion by the Department, if not in fact due to legislated amendments to the Social Security Act 1999 that exclude CDCT participants from ordinary legal protections afford other classes of Australians, none the less remains an in-spirit a violation of Australian Contract and Consumer Law. [12]
We reject the notion that this form of institutional bullying and economic coercion, permissive only as a direct effect of the structural apartheid inherent in the CDCT, is in any way fair practice or in line with the spirit of social welfare or documented welfare state principles.
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
We refute the notion that it is acceptable for the Department to unilaterally force socially vulnerable citizens to enter into unwanted financial relationships and legally binding contracts with private corporate entities against their will, simply because they are receiving government income support payments.
We argue this violation of consumer rights alone sets an incredibly dangerous precedent and empowers government to act in a manner contrary to law at any time, with only the necessity to create and maintain a suitably acceptable pretext left to defend the rights of all Australian citizens.
We hold that existing laws regarding the protection of Australians from undue corporate intrusion into their private lives; laws that compel the accountability and restraint of corporate influence upon State affairs and indeed, laws intended to protect citizens from the abuses of power and privilege by the State, were bought into being for good purpose; a purpose we feel is currently being ignored and even vilified in the determined effort by this government to simply “get around” legislation for the purpose of CDC roll out. *** Closing statement:
There are very few times a Senate is asked to vote on issues that require focus on both micro social effects and fundamental structural changes to our national ideology at the same time. We hold that this ‘simple’ bill is one of them. Given the extent of misinformation; departmental manipulations; the data aberrations; the social inequalities; the injustices; the unrecorded deaths’; the lack of data quality; the bullying; the re-interpretations and intentional misrepresentations; the abundance of doubts that exist, we contend that there is no solid basis for forward progression of this policy.
We contend that the imposition of this type of card, regardless of the nature of restrictions applied or amendments put forward, still assumes that all people on Centrelink payments require intervention beyond the benefit of Income Support alone. At a time the entire nation is focused on issues of equality, this Bill and this policy stand out as the ‘big step backwards’ we as a nation simply cannot afford socially or financially.
As regards the increase in national financial burden, and at the current rate of $10.000 per head per year just in ‘fees and charges’ being demanded by Indue LTD, the cost of this program external to infrastructure, start up costs and wrap around services provision, already balloons to well over an estimated $46B per year if rolled out to all 2.8 million qualifying payment recipients.
Even should that cost be reduced to just $500.00 per recipient per year, the cost is still estimated at well over 1.2 billion per year ongoing; representing a new national debt source and a sum that will be directly paid to an unaccountable private corporation by Australian tax payers. Yet we have heard little to nothing from the Department on this issue, citing ‘commercial in confidence’ conditions when pressed, when in fact, no such legal protections that permit this non disclosure even exist.
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
More importantly, this policy assumes that people in receipt of benefits have done something wrong in order to be receiving payments and then it assumes that they are in some way; personally, intellectually, morally or socially deficient owing to their need for payments. We hold these are both, misconceptions based on stereotype and not represented by the facts.
Applied at gunpoint, as it is currently enfolding in our communities, the Indue LTD Cashless Debit Card has not been and will not ever be a respectful mutual ‘income management program’. It will be in fact, a social micromanagement pogrom; a largely misogynistic and enduringly paternalistic application of State control and force that is unnecessary, unwelcome and an unwarranted imposition in the lives and upon the rights of millions to exercise what have been until now, protected rights.
As an imperative, the methodology of the CDC itself is a force, an act of social violence, that in practice has been and will remain, an act of collective punishment. Even if people willingly agree to go on this card, they will still be subject to segregation and relinquishing their right to exercise political agency in general society not just the right to chose where why and how they spend third party managed income.
If “community consent” continues to be undefined in legislation and so, an easily manipulated artefact of the CDC utilised by the powerful ‘community controller’ class against their most vulnerable constituents as it is today; we are all “at risk”.
If consent across the board continues to be manufactured via the coercion processes currently in practice in media and in parliament [11] , then this government will have been aided via haste, apathy and ignorance, to consciously and so intentionally, create the first national systemic structure of social and economic apartheid in Australia’s modern history.
We refer back to our original assertion, that Senate is being asked to make an uninformed vote on the 13th November 2017, and as much as insight into data aberrations is important, we offer the following;
If we are as a nation are to take any steps towards forced income management as a permanent policy and so, undermine the nature, values and principles of the Welfare State at root;
If we are to attempt to enshrine as acceptable, the wholesale segregation of certain types of Australian taxpaying citizen from equal access, protection and freedom under law and so actively create a structure of two tiered rights and responsibilities of citizenship;
If private corporate entities with significant ties to the government in power are to be permitted legal rights over the private financial lives of Australian tax paying citizens and permitted jurisdiction over their personal income without their consent and with the sanction of our government ;
Then it is our responsibility to demand that such steps be taken with full and deliberate consideration of the total range of potential consequences these changes mean now, and what they will mean to future generations of Australians within the entire national moral, legal and social landscape as a whole.
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
With recent ABS statistics[10] demonstrating that people on income support payments in fact purchase less alcohol than any other sector of society, we feel that it is well beyond time that the obfuscating pretext’s being used to justify this card and its roll outs in media and parliament are set aside.
We assert this program must be more conscientiously examined for what it does and doesn’t do and that any such study be inclusive of the less palatable realities,; addressing issues such as forced segregation, discrimination, privatisation and the financially lucrative prospect this program has become for selected political and corporate vested interests.
We submit to this Committee that the CDCT must remain acutely accountable to the existing boundaries set by this Senate at this time, and maintain it’s scheduled 2018 END DATE, at which time, a more constructive, informed and thorough evaluation of the entire process, can be undertaken.
We submit that if the CDCT must proceed at all in any form given the costs already accrued and being born by forced and voluntary participants and their communities, that it do so under the tightest possible protective legislative restraints, classifications, restrictions and oversight, so that any movement towards any permanent institutional or structural changes to our national social contract may be observed as they arise and be addressed directly, not in painful hindsight.
We thank the Committee for this opportunity to be heard.
The Say NO Seven
End.
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
Appendix 3i [ shared in confidence/not for publication]
[ The SayNOSeven operate a discreet drop box and an encrypted email service for whistle-blowers and persons at risk to share information safely. We have discussed the moral and social dilemma of making these testaments and reporting this issue to Committee. We feel we must say something, yet we seek to and we will, protect the privacy of our whistle blowers at all costs. We do not ‘qualify’ information delivered in this form. We do support the person. Where we can we have tried our best to validate information, and in that discovery process have also invalidated information. We supplied it all here, without judgement. ] Appendix 3ii: Ceduna Business man on video reporting $120.000.00 business loss : https://goo.gl/4HDQKJ “Ceduna owner says he has supported struggling customers for years but has been misled by Department of Health and Human Services .” “I was willing to see how the card went and now I’ve gone totally against it,” Spry said. “If you had of asked me a few weeks ago what I thought of it, you wouldn’t have gotten anything out of me. I’m a private person. I know everyone in the community. But when you know something is wrong, you’ve got to speak up.” – Malcolm Spry
Src: https://goo.gl/2hKswD Appendix 3iii:
An excerpt from the South Australian Police Annual Report June 2015- June 2016 covering the Eyre and Western Service Local Area inclusive of Ceduna. These statistics do not support the lower incidence of crime claims by Human Services Minister Alan Tudge and Social Services Minister Christian Porter.
https://www.unitingcommunities.org/2017/03/14/federal-government-jumps-gun-extendingcashless-debit-card/
http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com.au/2017/04/ceduna-south-australia-and-turnbull.html
https://www.police.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/363215/Annual-report-20152016.pdf
‘It’s alarming to note that the Minister for Human Services has indicated in an interview today with ABC News that the crime figures in the Report were “preliminary and not conclusive” and yet this very same crime data has been used to validate the extension of the Cashless Card. Surely we need a more rigorous assessment of such evidence before it is used to justify a major policy announcement’”. – Schrapel. Uniting Communities.
Western Australian Police crime statistics also show that robbery and threatening behaviour in Kununurra have increased significantly since the Cashless Welfare Card trial was introduced to the community, contrary to media claims by Ministers Tudge and Porter.
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
Appendix 3iv Not long after CDCT trials began in Ceduna, OAM award winner Mimi Stewart, respected Indigenous Elder, and Indigenous Community Leader Keith Peters both removed their signatures from the Ceduna Memorandum of Understanding citing “ lies and deliberate misleading information about the card and card processes’ by the Department as the cause. They reported, on video, that they were told in the lead up, that cards would only be compelled on those who had been individually assessed as requiring forced income management. They have since been joined in speaking out AGAINST the CDC, by Senator Pat Dodson, Murrandoo Bulanyi Yanner; The NSW Aboriginal Lands Council, Lawford Benning, chair of the MG Corporation,; the Aboriginal Health Council of WA chairwoman Michelle NelsonCox; Indigenous Community Leader Hinkler Electorate Councillor(ret) Les Mucken. the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation, Roebourne, WA; WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia) and cross country Indigenous ‘Spirit Walker’ Clinton Prior, along with seven other Indigenous community groups including the entire Halls Gap Community, the community of Geraldton and the Boulder Region Community.
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
BIBLIOGRAPHY:
[1] Social Justice and Native Title Report HRC 2016 :
https://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/document /publication/AHRC_SJNTR_2016.pdf
[2] Evaluating New Income Management in the Northern Territory: Final Evaluation Report:
http://caepr.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/cck_misc_documents/2014/12
[3a] HRC: Government’s Healthy Welfare Card no solution to alcohol abuse- Mick Gooda, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/opinions/government-s-healthy-welfare-card-no-solutionalcohol-abuse
[3b] The effectiveness of Child Protection Income Management in Australia : Royal Commission.
:https://www.agd.sa.gov.au/sites/g/files/net2876/f/the_effectiveness_of_child_protection_income_man agement_in_australia.pdf?v=1491456565
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
[4] Media comments on health vs punitive punishments efficacy: Dr Marianne Jauncey. Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-30/welfare-drugtest-plan-will-increase-crime-say-doctors/8855572
[5] Hunt Gooda et al:
• The Cashless Debit Card Trial Evaluation: A Short Review Australian National University – Dr Jane Hunt : http://caepr.anu.edu.au/Publications/topical/2017TI1.php • ACOSS: Compulsory Income Management: A flawed answer to a complex problem http://www.acoss.org.au/images/uploads/Income_management_policy_analysis_September_20 14.pdf • HRC: Government’s Healthy Welfare Card no solution to alcohol abuse- Mick Gooda, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/opinions/government-s-healthy-welfare-card-nosolution-alcohol-abuse
[6] Consolidated Regional Development Association Western Eyre Peninsula Report for April 2016 : http://www.ceduna.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/news/Ceduna%20Service%20Reform%20newsletter %20-%20December%202015.pdf Minister Alan Tudges speech to Parliament: https://www.mhs.gov.au/transcripts/2016-09-12-questiontime Related SNS Video: “Breaking” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58PAp6IWGiI
Disputed data image:
[7] INDUE LTD Terms and conditions Document: https://indue.com.au/wpcontent/uploads/Conditions-of-Use.pdf
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The SAY NO SEVEN Community submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Inquiry
[8] Indue LTD Merchants Terms and Conditions document : https://goo.gl/PdksFa
[9] See Orima Wave 2 Final Evaluation Sec 41. GRAPH : 66% Non Indigenous.
[10] Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017 as reported : https://www.theguardian.com/australianews/2017/sep/13/australian-welfare-recipients-spend-proportionately-less-on-alcohol-abs
[11] Porkbarelling Intimidation and the CDCT “ A New Definition” We compared Ceduna’s pre card funding experience, with that of the community of Halls Creek, [ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-06/halls-creek-aboriginal-advisory-committee-rejectscashless-welf/6830742%5D As this article demonstrates, immediately on refusal of the card trial by the Hall’s Creek community, government negotiation teams employed strong arm tactics in attempts to manipulate the community, including the threat to leave the community out of state wide reform funding. https://saynoseven.wordpress.com/2017/03/18/a-new-definition/
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RELEVANCE – Human Rights infringments and the Cashless Debit Card

We have yet to hear back from any LNP minster regarding questions we, UniCEF, and the Australian Human Rights Commission have posed and raised about the Relevance of Indue Cashless Cards to and in First Nation communities and governments obligations under the Human Rights Act. It seems no one wants to discuss the issue at all much less draw attention to it.

Relevance*, as a legal term, is a matter given priority under the Social Security Act and under the Human Rights and related Non Discrimination Acts. Government must prove to the parliament and community, the Relevance of their policy decisions and have that proof approved in turn in order to justify Human Rights infringments.

In regards to the issue of Indue Cashless Cards especially, the question of Relevance has not yet been established – it has barely been addressed. Government has until now, been unable to prove Relevance in any satisfactory manner, and twice now, despite clear and unequivocal statements from the Human Rights Commissioner that governments HR memorandum and the CDC legislation itself does not meet Human Rights standards, still CDC roll outs and “trials” continue.

Yet the issue of Relevance, and the fact that our government already is, and is intent on continuing to abuse the Human Rights of Australian citizens, gets no air time whatever in media, nor in parliament or in any pressers made by pro-card advocates, anywhere.

We leave John Pilgers ‘ Utopia” here tonight to provide some readers with a wider field context as regards the nature of systemic and structural Human Rights abuses already committed upon First Nations communities since colonisation.

It is a film that describes in detail the enduring legacy of structural and lateral violence, not to mention the impact of widespread racism on our First Nations peoples that was compounded by the NT Intervention and is ongoing and underscored today via Indue Cashles Cards push. This is a film that clearly, at least to us, shows why Relevance is such an important issue.

Being informed of the nature of historic abuses of Human Rights in Australia is important to comprehending the long term impacts of the latest round of structural abuses. The governements reliance on knee jerk reactgive polciies, and the hyper-nationalism so prevalent in our Parliamentry processes should concern *everyone* . A greater understanding of the cost of ignoring this cyclical repetition for poltical convenience is urgently needed.

Awareness of the ongoing and seemingly ‘sanctioned’ abuses of Human Rights depicted in this film, for profit, along with the social and moral costs of deliberate applications of punitive programs such as the NT intervention (NTER), the CDP and Indue Cashless Cards, are critical understandings to have when debating this card for what it really is and from a Human Rights platform in any sphere.

Given the fraud behind the NT Intervention is now public knowledge, and in ignoring the lessons of historic and recent history, the LNP have failed in their duty of care to the Australian people, present and future.

They are intentionally repeating a flawed set of polices ( forced income management and unfounded interventionism) that have not worked in centuries let alone in the past 13 years. They are ignoring the fact that they have intentionally created wholesale despair and community destruction. And in ignoring these consequences to continue to rush out yet another, illconsidered ultimately racist and classist policy, they have overstepped any mandate or right they may ever claim as national governers and must be held to account.

In moving forward, we must first admit and accept that we as a community, have been permissive of the actions of Human Rights abusers. We need to edcuate ourselves, be better informed in order to come together meaningfully and be willing to stop allowing these abuses of Human Rights to continue.

We do not and would not disrespect First Nations peoples by speaking for them. This has been our commitment since the onset of our campaign – that we would only ever amplify those First Nations voices that are speaking out for themselves, unless directly asked. These human beings, are the experts about their own lives and their reality on the ground. Not us.

So we will simply offer this succinct summary of the current situation, clipped from the film itself, where one First Nations speaker quietly and wisely states: “We are refugees in our own country….” – a statement that we felt, strikes at the heart of what has happened, what it is like now, and what many more can expect their own futures to look like if we do not act together, now.

Make NO mistake:

The SAME fraud, the same closet agendas, the same propaganda and lies used to justify the NT Intervention are being used right now here TODAY to justify the Indue Cashless Card roll outs.

We can’t let them do it and get away with it again. We must not.

As John notes in the film attached, the author of this report, “Office of the Northern Territory Coordinator General for Remote Services June 2011”
[ http://www.territorystories.nt.gov.au/…/NTCGRS_fullreport_2…], Olga Havnen, was sacked by the NT government soon after it was published.

The report revealed that the government had spent over $80 million dollars on surveilence and removing children from their homes, while spending just $500,000 dollars on actually supporting and helping families directly. The report further revealed that despite all the lies and media, all the government ministers and their tearjerking pressers, actual rates of child abuse in the NT are in fact the LOWEST in Australia.

This report above, along with the three-year “Evaluating New Income Management in the Northern Territory” report, [ https://www.dss.gov.au/…/evaluation-of-new-income-managemen…] a report commissioned by the Department of Social Services itself under the previous Labor government, both found “no substantive evidence of the program having significant changes relative to its key policy objectives, including changing people’s behaviours”.

In what has become a revolving door of political mistakes and failures [http://www.abc.net.au/…/govt-flags-more-income-mana…/5975832] forced income management remains the tool of choice for active despotism and Human Rights abuse in Australia.

It’s beyond time that ended.

– SNS2

**A warning to our First Nations readers this film depicts people who have and may have passed**

* [There is no legal ‘term’ available that describes the insanity of piling more human rights abuses on people who have already had their Human Rights systemically abused.]

https://vimeo.com/167556065

Abuse survivors say NO. “I WILL NOT LET YOU DO THIS TO ME AGAIN!” – X’s story and fight against the Indue Cashless Card

Reposted on request.

 

I am absolutely LIVID yes, but no less coherent and no less aware of the true cost of the Cashless card on my life and people like me’s lives. I am so damn angry that the over-privileged class think they can get away with making such judgments about people, judgements that are destroying  lives!

Did you lot not stop for one second to THINK about the actual people you are offending? Did you not even consider WHO you are about to abuse in yourself righteousness?

Well welcome to ME then…

I want you to know that I was first raped at 5 by a family friend, and then for three years by a priest from Armidale who’d visit our church. Id was beaten up by a drunk father at home, when I went to school I was so sick I couldn’t think, the nuns would make me clean drains because I couldn’t sit still in class. Eventually it became too much and just before I turned 11, I ran away from home to a friends house up the road. They called social services, and the guy that was meant to take me to the Byron Youth Shelter instead raped me just outside Mullumbimby turn off and dumped me there pointing out where I could hitchhike to the refuge by myself. When I did make it there,  I thought I was safe, then the workers left at 11pm and the boys there took me to the beach and got drunk and raped me. They left a cask of Coolabah beside me and took off, so I drank it, the whole lot and woke up the next day knowing I couldn’t go back. So I hitched a ride with a trucker to Brisbane, who for sex, gave me food. He dropped me off near the Suncorp building and took off. I was still 11 and walking up and down the street looking for food when a man picked me up and took me to a motel, he raped me and left money and the room key. I had no idea what I was meant to do so I took the money and walked back into town.

Three days later I was picked up by one of the Ballino brothers, local mafia I was told later,  and put to work in a place called Purple Parrot where for 50 cents, you could hit a target with a ball and make me fall into the cold water, it was called ‘dunk a dolly’ and for 10 dollars you could sit in a booth and watch me strip as a screen slid up to show more and more of me if you kept putting coins in…. So many of your sons husbands and even the police came into that place, boys on the town doing their thing….not one of them thought to ask if I wanted it or ask if I was ok. I lived like that, sleeping at the pub working at the Parrot until I  turned 12 years old.

One night I was walking back to the Parrot when I was picked up by police. They took me to a brothel, an underage brothel in Highgate Hill called Fantasy Photographics, and put me to work there. I ate slept and worked there for two years while QLD judges, businessmen, politicians, police, and crime bosses raped me every day while my bosses filmed them through closed circuit video. A honey trap..to keep ppl in line in fear.  Clients there were ” normal” men, your husbands, your sons, your community leaders and Licensing Squad would come every other day and take money and video from my boss Warren, and sometime the big boss Hector would visit and we had to dress up right. The older girls would cover my bruises with makeup and we were not allowed to speak. Kids would disappear from this place all the time, and there were kids younger than even me there all the time..the older girls told me they were put into the river, knocked off. A threat that we were never to talk to the clients about the place. We were taken to Sydney once, to a big house in Gosford, one in Griffith, and then to a place as big as a palace on Scotland Island for “parties” . Passed around by the men always with an older woman there to keep us from running off. we did this, or we ‘slept in the river’. It was the only life I knew.

Then, things changed, back in Brisbane I was 14 and my belly started swelling and I was told I was pregnant by an older girl but to shut up about it for as long as I could or they would kill me. Not long after I noticed my boobs getting bigger there were some big police raids  on this place by other police and myself and two others were picked up  by these other police and dumped on the street, back near Suncorp with nowhere to go and no money. The Fitzgerald inquiry was happening I found out later and everyone was going to ground. Everyone was after the big names, and they just dumped us without even getting us help or even asking us if we were ok. I jumped a truck and headed back to Byron, back to the shelter, but now I was pregnant they couldn’t house me. I tried to have an abortion but was too far gone, over 5months. So I gave birth at 14 in the garage of a worker from the first refuge I had been at. She took me in when Centrelink refused to give me any payment because I had no ID, no healthcare card, no birth certificate and no address. I had no identity at all, I just didn’t exist.

That is how I arrived in ” white bread land” – the regular day light living world. In between addictions, two more rapes and the loss of my first child, I have been recovering ever since. When my first child was adopted out I went to 12 step recovery and over a long time, got sober and clean. I was on CL payments then and without them I don’t think I would have continued. I tried to study, I couldn’t focus, I was experiencing effects of the rapes and life I had led and demoralized, just sank into depression. I kept trying though, it took over ten years for me to be able to remember a simple phone number, to stop the worst of PTSD symptoms and sleep a full night. At 23 I gave birth to my second son.  He doesn’t know even until today he was a child of rape. I made the mistake of thinking it was ok to walk down a street on my own. I wont make that mistake again.

Over the years parenting him under parenting payment life slowly got better on the outside and I began to seek help to try and heal the insides. Sober and clean I was and am a ‘good mum’. I  got and survived cancer when he was two, I helped him to achieved state level in sport, get to year 12, and did it all on a pension. We didn’t have a lot but what we had we did everything with and I was never made then to feel ashamed or maybe I was just impervious..I don’t know. I do know I was incapable of working in the world, I just wasn’t  ‘all here’….what had happened to  me left me  in two worlds that never reconciled.

Over the years  I refused to let my son and I be anything less than equal to anyone around us. I managed wherever I was , to carve out small  portions of happiness however I could. My only link to the ‘community’ was my regular payments. They were a sense of security that enabled me to do everything else. Most importantly they helped me to feel in control of my life, being able to budget well, meet my sons needs, even later to study again for a short time, these were all possible because I was able to manage my own finances and didn’t feel ‘bad’ or that I ‘owed’ because of them. Then in 2003 i was raped by a member of my 12 step group who after many months of intimacy, disclosed to me he was a pedophile. I lost it. In 2004 I had a mental breakdown. My mind finally couldn’t take anymore.I had no capacity to trust, to think to do anything more than run and try to die and I did just that until one attempt saw me land in the Mental Health unit. Instead of help..there was only more abuse there. Rampaging men threatening rape, doctors who didn’t hear a word I was saying..drugs that left me incapable of living. No one sat and talked to me, no one offered any support services, no one gave me a number of a counselor or anything. It was just a holding cell. On discharge I asked the director of the place what I should do..he told me these exact words ” Go home and pretend to be normal”.

So I did.

That was all the help your grand ‘mental health industry’ could offer me..so i have taken it and I have done that ever since. I have pretended to be normal. Recovering my way under my terms, reclaiming my mind from their drugs, reclaiming myself and my mind body and soul from this damned “society” that is incapable of looking in the the mirror and I have done GOOD! I have stabilized MYSELF, built a home for and by MYSELF and i am NOT fucking sorry I have needed help from a centrelink payment to do that!

And yet now…having done all this work with the ONLY support I have EVER asked from any of you being centrelink payments,  having spent every last spec of energy I had to that end…finally finding a little home, some safe ground, safe people and even a safe clinician to help me walk towards a healing path, now my freedom is being take away again!!!!!!!!!!!!  WTF!!!!!!

I am about to loose my home if this card rolls out as I pay cash rent…we poor people do that you know..because we HAVE TO…I don’t just lose bricks and mortar, I loose safety security and self determination AGAIN because some  white prick  BILLIONAIRE wants control over land and people, and to sooth his own ego and try to erase his families history of abuses!!!

This MAN who does not even know me  or what I need most, when and how,  wants to take my capacity to control my own life away – again!

Another abuser with a justification, openly stating he wants to undermine my HUMAN RIGHTS and so OPENLY declaring publicly he wants to abuse me and all people like me and YOU ARE ALL SITTING THERE NODDING YOUR HEADS! This time its not just one man alone its the fucking government and seemingly, everyone around me that thinks its perfectly ok for them to do it!!!!! Your all CHEERING THEM ON complicit in these abuses as they remove what little freedom and control I have been able to grab back from a world that has done nothing but hit and hit and hit!!!!!

What the actual FK !??

You told me empowerment was key to healing….you told me self determination was key to maturity…you told me personal autonomy and wise choices was key to growth and wanting those things for myself and for my child desperately, I BELIEVED YOU! WHY ARE YOU REMOVING THEM NOW?

Why are you all now taking that away?

What did *I* do this time?

Why are you letting abusers get away with this crime of removing my capacity to do life for myself?

Why are you HELPING ppl that want to take away my rights and MAKE me a dependent ?

I don’t drink or gamble or abuse or commit crimes. I AM A FUCKING VICTIM OF CRIME! Why are you HELPING these corporate monsters and their puppets to do this? WHY?

Wasn’t me getting clean and sober enough for you? Wasn’t just enduring and overcoming the sexual perversions and abuses of YOUR “good community leaders” sons husbands police and politicians enough of a ‘success’ for you?

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU POSSIBLY FUCKING EXPECT FROM ME!!!!!

Did you think my social silence about the reality of my life was some kind of permission for you to keep abusing me and every single one of us out here just like me?

At what point did God come and bestow upon you the RIGHT to treat victims and survivors like this????

What point is there to bother striving to overcome ANYTHING anymore ever, if only to find when you get to a certain point all the over- privileged blind arrogant white Society fucks deem it just fine to throw you back into the cesspit?

This card is going to make me homeless – again!!!!

This card is going to forcibly take my power and control out of my hands and  hand power in and over my life to a MAN and A SOCIETY that has done NOTHING but  abuse me!

CAN YOU POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT MEANS TO SOMEONE LIKE ME?????

It will erase decades of tiny successes and tiny hopes I have had to force up from dark and damaged places. It will cut out my heart and I am NOT putting it back together to be a “good taxpaying community citizen” for you lot of uncaring filth again!!!!!!

All that trying and hardest of hard work..for NOTHING!

YOU ARE STEALING MY MEANING, not just my control over money.

Is it MY fault your men couldn’t keep their hands to themselves?

What have *I* done wrong but survive, to deserve this punishment and judgment condemnation from you?

Why do *I* deserve to have MY FREEDOM taken away?

*I* am not the PROBLEM. I was the RECIPIENT of the TERRIBLE consequences of ***this sick societies*** UNCHECKED PROBLEMS!!!!

You have NO RIGHT to take my home from me or to make me a slave to the whims and will of other people who don’t give a shit about me! I DO NOT CONSENT! I DO NOT CONSENT!

I WILL NOT LET YOU DO THIS TO ME AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!

I didnt FIND myself in these circumstances you smug c*nts YOU GAVE ME THIS BURDEN and I have been trying desperately to endure it MY WHOLE FUCKING LIFE!

I will not EVER EVER EVER  activate Twiggy’s card.

I WILL die first!

And  YOU, society, it will be ON YOU this time when I do.

FUCK YOU!

FUCK YOU ALL for legitimizing ABUSE!

FUCK YOU DERRYN HINCH for making profit from abuse survivors then voting to abuse us all over again!!!!!

FUCK YOU Malcolm TURNBULL who has never known actual suffrage and day in your life!!!!!!!

FUCK YOU ALP for NOT standing up for people like me!!!!!!!!!!

FUCK YOU HANSON for your EVIL complicit behavior in approving abuses YOU will not suffer with or be subject to!

YOU ARE ALL AN IGNORANT DISGRACE!

FUCK THE LOT OF YOU!

REAP WHAT YOU HAVE SOWN you pack of self deceived liars!

I’m done.

Conversation bewteen our SNSAdmin and Mr Rick Wilson MP.

PLEASE NOTE:  A decision has been made by admins to snip all but the last two posts for brevity ( …… ) as they contained no information pertinant to the fact that Mr Wilson knew there were problems or us detailing problems.

Mr Wilson knew of these cases and yet and said nothing in media, and it appears by the Ministers comments yesterday, that he has not informed Dan Tehan of the existence of these problems either.

While the conversation was engaged in private messenger, at no time did Mr Wilson indicate to us this conversation was off the record.

We are not seeking to defame Mr Wilson in any way.  Our aim is only to underscore our argument that problems do exist in the Goldfields region CDC roll out process and that Mr Wilson knew about these problems prior to the media article released yesterday by the ABC.

We concede from the outset that Mr Wilson has assisted some people we referred and some that self referred, that is not at question or the point of our post today.

These messages were exchanged during the time period 7/5/2018 – 14/5/2018.

 

Record:

ADMIN:

Mr Wilson, these two families are in urgent need of assistance and exemption from the CDC trial. Politics and even card positions aside, we are asking that you please examine these cases and assist these two families to get the support and help they need. These families both meet criteria for a well being exemption and are being put through hell instead. Conscious cruelty is never acceptable and these people need an intervening action immediately, especially Bev and her acutely disabled son. – admin, SNS.

[ A video link to the CDC No Card page was provided and a confirmation email was sent.]



RICK WILSON:
Dear ……..  I have also responded to an email on this matter to the effect that I cannot open this video, so cannot comment on its content other than to say

……………..


ADMIN:
Hello. Inaccessible links are likely the result of blocking people from posting on your Facebook we would suppose. If you unblock NAME REDACTED specifically, you may be able to see it and hear what is being said. We will pass on the information however one of the families HAS engaged with the local office and 5 weeks later is still being given the run around the other only found out about such a center even existing last week, such as been the deplorable information provision. 

……………..

RICK WILSON:
There has been considerable media about the opening of the support offices…Former Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge MP and I visited Boulder on opening day and it was on the front page of the Kalgoorlie Miner.

……………..


ADMIN:

Well Mr Wilson, this mother of a 70% brain damaged adult child that cant talk speak or move as he is a double amputee didn’t get your media or press releases. Perhaps she was too busy or any number of reasons why she may not have seen any of it.
……………..
RICK WILSON:
I note you still have not provided any information to assist me in contacting this constituent or enhancing the DSS process.I have not been contacted by this constituent, but have forwarded your concerns to the DSS for them to attempt to track down this particular case.Please provide her contact details or ask her to contact me directly Rick.Wilson.MP@aph.gov.au if you truly wish to be of assistance.
ADMIN:
Mr Wilson both families have the contact details, and we are helping them to help themselves. More information is not what they need. They have the information. Answers is what they need and answers are not forthcoming from the contact numbers given. So we are assisting them where we can directly and indirectly, as we said we would. If you would like to do something useful, you may want to look into the situation at Bega which is a growing sore that needs attention. – snsAdmin.

 

RICK WILSON: I have never been approached by anyone with the issues you described, and you consistently refuse to share the information that will allow me to help them. Likewise I have not been approached with any issues about Bega. I have the ear of the Ministers responsible for the issues and accusations you are describing, but you do not appear keen to facilitate any assistance I can offer.

ADMIN:  We have already passed on your contact details on Mr Wilson, and without breeching confidentiality we CAN’T share information of a personal nature with you than what has already been shared by these families themselves on the pages they have written to. What more can we do for you? Why should we need to do your job at all?
One of the families mentioned was in the Kalgoorlie CDC office yesterday, what more can SHE do? These are NOT “accusations” we are relaying to you, they are peoples own shared stories made on a PUBLIC page anyone can read for themselves.
……………..

RICK WILSON:
My office has contacted “Bev” through Facebook…I cannot make her accept my assistance. You would be doing my constituents and the CDC participants you claim to care about, a huge favor if you helped rather than hindered this process. It makes one question your motives (?).

 

ADMIN:

Mr Wilson. That you would resort to this gutter, to question our motives and insinuate about us as you are, says more about you than us.

……………..

 

ADMIN:

Mr Wilson I direct your attention to another desperate case in Kalgoorlie that requires immediate attention. A mother of two, a woman with intellectual disabilities, Brenda is struggling severely after being placed on the card and requires immediate support and intervention.

……………..

 

ADMIN: I am happy to concede that much at this time at least in regards to responses we have received and in the appearance of it. We know the people you are speaking off and assistance provided there as well which is why we have made the effort to approach you today at all. I know you are also unaware of the flood of mail we receive on a daily basis from your region from people who simply cannot cope, and until now you did not know we have, since the first announcement in February, had to support 14 people from your region who were at immediate suicide risk. One, only two nights ago has since fled the area and there is little now we can do.
……………..

As for Bev, Bev helped herself after being provided facts and procedure information she could use. Bev was too irate to speak with you and was able to gain her own exemption for her son on her own which was the better outcome in any case.  – SnsAdmin.

 

RICK WILSON:
It would be greatly appreciated if you can encourage people to contact my office directly…We are local, and can assist in other areas you may not have experience in. For example, a recent CDC participant felt her only issue was accessing on-line shopping….it turns out she is probably eligible for HACC assistance with not only shopping, but transport, gardening, housecleaning, etc. Somehow she had not been made aware of this by her GP or other service providers. BTW she has also been enabled to access on-line shopping, but in addition connected to even greater local support.

……………..

 

ADMIN:
Rick, we have tried, we have even begged people to do just that. To contact your office and flood you with their problems and to contact local service providers. You seem to not comprehend though, that people do not trust you any longer; not when this card represents to almost all of us, the removal of our personal autonomy and basic freedom of choice and worse. In the wholesale slandering of Social Security recipients by you and your government in media, you are undercutting the very objectives you just stated you wish to meet.
……………..
What you have stated here alone, is proof that community attention and effort to engage actual people, works to better peoples livesnot that the card is working or useful at all, as all the card has done little but created pain and confusion which is clear by our own inbox and the pages trying to stop the roll out or at least, impact the national CDC debate.
……………..

One more major point to note, is local services are as yet still quite uninformed especially about DSP needs and of the Indue terms and conditions requirements. That does need addressing urgently. Indue’s terms are what restrict accounts and service group illiteracy in that area is a growing concern and major part of why people aren’t feeling supported.

……………..

[ Side point to note, several people we have spoken to have reported trying to access contacts and services provided by Rick and have been turned away, or were given rote replies or non-answers that are not useful to them and havent helped clear confusion.several people have written they were denied help outright. Though there have been a  few sucesses, most with unresolved complaints are reporting they have been flatly referred back to the Department and CDC reps who have not read Indue’s terms and condtions  are sending people to DSS and DSS is sending them to Indue, and back again/visa versa. The ping pong match continues]

 

RICK WILSON ( full post):
Let me know if you want me to provide contact details for any of the above CDC support centres, Shires or MPs if they do not want to contact me directly. I have become the poster boy for imposing this on my community, but there is considerable back story, which is available in my speeches on this matter, and local media. There are severe social issues everyone experiences in the Goldfields as a result of welfare driven drug and alcohol abuse and gambling. Most people on welfare payments should not experience hardship unless their welfare money is being mis-used.This is a trial…Let’s see if it can have an effect where nothing else yet has. I think people are being brainwashed into thinking this is a punishment, yet almost every element of society is trending towards a cashless lifestyle.

I have a Card, and I am using it everywhere I can to ensure it works and to see if there is any stigma associated with it. I have not experienced vendors even noticing the difference between it and a regular card….even when it was rejected in a liquor outlet!
As far as your comments about my job to inform people….There has been considerable media over the past 2 years about the CDC as an option for the Goldfields…Then the Prime Minister announced it to our community!
Prior to its introduction, I sent mail outs to every household via Australia Post unaddressed mail, as well as every email address in my database, there was a hard copy and electronic petition, all with full information. The community has engaged the whole time. There has been over 270 face-to-face community consultations and hundreds of emails directly answering queries. As mentioned the DSP, medical, business and other service providers as well as local government authorities are all well informed and supportive. The CDC team here in the Goldfields is working hard to ensure card participants can continue to access the services and purchases they always have. I appreciate Yu referring people to wherever they feel most comfortable seeking help.

ADMIN ( Full Post):

[ At this point I lost it, he didn’t seem to comprehend despite being given direct links to pages, that people were already reporting openly and publicly on their self support pages that they had not been able to participate in any surveys conducted, that entire communities had been overlooked in the mail out. People were and still are reporting that they have been blocked by him from repeating that fact on social media. He didnt seem to comprehend that people were being turned away from services, or that most people on the page were expressing that they were feeling punished, and were describing real emotions they were experiencing, not being brainwashed by anyone. He was essentially gaslighting them and us, and this got me mad. Except for a few condescending remarks,  he didnt seem concerned for the people at all only how the rollout went. Not one person on any page, group or email contact we have made, has reported being ‘enaged’ by Mr Wilson in ANY of the processes leading up to the Card roll out or events subsequently. “The community” consultation it seems didn’t include the views or input of Social Security recipeints themselves from the onset.  snsadmin]

Show us your facts Mr Wilson as regards WELFARE DRIVEN alcoholism et al. In Kununurra it amounted to just 44 people who are STILL causing trouble and drinking now even after 2 years on CDC so please show us YOUR data or stop making false claims. To date we have had NO claim of this nature backed up by verified data, no one has.

People are experiencing hardship in the first instance because this card is removing their PERSONAL FREEDOMS Mr Wilson. CHOICE, SELF DETERMINATION, their RIGHTS under law. These are significant HARMS you are refusing to even acknowledge and they are just more of the same Andrew Forrest straw-man arguments in any case.

It is not up to governments to dictate how anyone uses their income. Australia is being forced into a cashless society Mr Wilson it has not agreed to it or voted for it. LNP are taking license where no mandate has been given to them. This card forces Australian taxpaying citizens to contract with a private corporation AGAINST THEIR WILL, that is the very definition of fascism! As a granddaughter of ANZACS and a sister daughter and mother of service men who have fought and died for MY freedom you insult me by the premise this is in any way acceptable!

YOUR CARD IS NOT RESTRICTED Mr Wilson. See our argument on that here: https://www.facebook.com/SAYNOSEVEN/posts/503075163420636

This political STUNT is not useful! In your position of course YOU face no stigma, and the use of the card or colour of it is not the only stigma attached to the process or the card in public use either! You cannot possibly be that shortsighted or simple-minded!

When I posted your comment on consultation on my private page, the response was laughter and then rage from people in YOUR community not just my learned friends. You are ignoring the fact you did not include or consult with people who were to be impacted by the card BEFORE DECIDING to roll out the card MR WILSON and you blocked their feedback on your Facebook page so you KNOW that there was significant backlash!

Your failure to include centrelink recipients as EQUAL MEMBERS OF YOUR COMMUNITY from the GET GO has made ANY claim you make to consultation thereafter a sad and sick joke.

Please see OUR arguments tabled in Senate on the issue of the MAJORITY of centrelink recipients the ‘rest of us’ those you are degrading and belittling and infringing upon for NO JUST REASON. https://saynoseven.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/document-full-tabled-argument-cdc-senate-enquiry-november-2nd-2017-canberra-the-rest-of-us/

Out of the 189 submissions the Senate committee received the vast majority are against the card and have major concerns. Our government and YOU have chosen to ignore this! https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/CashlessDebitCard/Submissions

EVERY LEADING WELFARE AGENCY IN THE COUNTRY IS OPPOSED TO THIS CARD! An unqualified known felon and vested corporate interest who openly took money from drug runners to get his first start-up going and his pack of LNP political pundits with no social welfare experience or qualifications whatsoever do NOT have the background or education to be determining impact and outcomes for ANYONE!

See the absolute FARCE of card restrictions and at least CONSIDER the cost to your community in active predation by the cashed up and evil, already visible in current zones in rapes of children, store owner grafting and manipulation by companies and businesses. These realities are being experienced NOW and impacting people on income support directly. People have already been charged with these predatory crimes! Yet you ignore them!!! https://theaimn.com/service-provision-versus-prohibition-the-farce-of-cashless-debit-card-restrictions/

Just last week your government paid $12,000 dollars to put one woman on the CDC in Kalgoorlie who receives just $12 a fortnight top up payment! DOES THIS SOUND LIKE A REASONABLE EXPENDITURE OF TAX PAYER DOLLARS TO YOU?

TIME TO STOP BLAMING THE POOR FOR YOUR MANAGERIAL INEPTITUDE MR WILSON: https://theaimn.com/its-time-to-stop-blaming-the-poor/

If you wish to speak with us again, drop the party line, drop the Forrest mandated speeches and lies and just be a human. We don’t have time to sit here and counter each of your already well undermined and ignorance perpetuating claims. You are hanging yourself and we have said don’t..we have said stop…so the consequences and FULL measure of those, is on your head not ours.

I withdraw my earlier concession Mr Wilson. It is very clear from your last message that you have no idea of the issues beyond party dogma, you do not care to nor do you have any insight into the conditions being faced by your community members, and do not wish to discuss the structural cultural or social impacts of the CDC and its costs to your community and the Social Security recipient cohort as a whole. When and if that ever changes, we will be happy to again consider you informed and willing to assist.
 

 

And here are just some of the other voices of your community responding to CDC impacts in their lives.’ Most won’t experience hardship?’ It is very clear that all but a very secure and well equipped few are experiencing CDC life differently to what you think. https://www.facebook.com/pg/SAYNOSEVEN/photos/?tab=album&album_id=518246098570209    – SnsAdmin
END
————-

 

Failing to report Goldfields distress, MP Rick Wilson focuses on the push for a Hinkler electorate roll out of the Indue Cashless Debit Card.

Yesterday, 14/05/2018  in this ABC Goldfields   article, Federal member for O’Connor Rick Wilson stated that the Goldfields rollout [ of the Indue Ltd Cashless Debit Card -CDC ] has gone “smoothly” and should be completed within a month. 

Mr Wilson states that “…he has already received positive reports about the card from the small Goldfields town of Coolgardie.”

Ignoring the fact people on the card have recently had their ability to self determine their own budgets removed and now can only spend their income at certain stores rather than making their usual purchases of goods from markets, second hand retailers and cash only outlets,  Mr Wilson goes on make full use of a slight increase noted in store purchases as early ‘evidence’ of card success. In doing so, he repeats almost verbartim the same media script used by Mayor Alan Sutor in Ceduna, post CDC roll out there in 2016.

Mr Wilson states:

“The local general store are saying their grocery sales have really gone up in the last couple of weeks,” he said. 

“They’ve seen people coming in shopping for groceries that they haven’t seen come into the shop before, and the alcohol sales in the other part of the store are down.

“That’s great news if people are spending more of their support payment on the necessities of life, as opposed to drugs and alcohol.

“That’s why the evaluation is so important, so we can quantify what we’re hearing anecdotally and go back to the parliament.”

Mr Wilson also stated, “Anecdotally that’s some of the first stories I’m hearing back”

Ignoring for a moment his gross assumption that all Social Security recipients are drunkards and addicts spending payments on their vices in the first place,  we are writing this post today to refute his latter statement highlighted above and to call out Mr Wilson for this obvious misrepresentation of the facts as they stand.

We contacted Mr Wilson over a week ago to inform him of acute distress being experienced by many members of his community, including a request for direct help for a diabetic woman who had chosen to hunger strike rather than activate the Indue Card.

We informed Mr Wilson then of her case and of the existance several other acute cases including a mother with intellectual disabilities who is continuing to struggle since being placed on the card.

Mr Wilson was made vividly aware of the abudance of distress and harm being created on the ground in Kalgoorlie and surrounds, and we were met in reply, with a series of patronisations, plattitudes,  ego defenses and then regurgitated LNP party dogma.

It is important to note, that Kalgoorlie resident Brenda, intellectually disabled mum of two, remains in distress and her mental health continues to deteriorate. Despite directing Mr Wilson personally to her posts and profile, Brenda has still  NOT been contacted by Mr Wilson’s office nor any CDC or DSS representative on the ground in Kalgoorlie. Even her own doctor, uninformed and illiterate as regards the nature of the Indue card and its impacts, is unable to assist her.

In light of this case and others still pending, for Mr Wilson to therefore claim in media that the roll out is proceeding ‘smoothly’, without any qualifying statement as regards the extent of distress being experienced by so many of his constituants, is negligent. It is misleading and we feel, an open abuse of his power and position.

It is also simply rude and intensely disrespectful and hurtful to the courageous people who have taken to social media and braved the rigours of the press today to air their grievances, only to find their struggles are being ignored at the highest levels.

The ease of this dismissal of current impacts and peoples lived experiences, underscores our opinion that Mr Wilson’s focus and priorities have not been on the welfare of his own constituants during this stressful transition from normal to forced third party income managed lives, but rather they appear squarely focused upon the LNP agenda to push for even more card roll outs across Australia, no matter the cost.

It is immediately and exceedingly clear to us  that this article was  a press release reported unchallenged and as fact by the newly budget conscious ABC;  one designed purely to set the stage with unsubstantiated ancedotes in attempt to ease the passage of as yet unpublished legislation through Parliament. Indeed the intention to move to a fourth trial site is also mentioned in the article quite brazenly.

The push towards a fourth roll out of the CDC  in the Hinkler Region [QLD] while the paint has yet to dry on the current roll out is to our view, a deliberate attempt  to direct focus away from thorough and considered examination of the problems and issues at hand in the Goldfields region.

It also appears to reflect a conscious decision by the LNP  to continue to disregard the impacts and risks that have been documented in other trial locations and so, to ignore the risks that unevaluated expansion will present to the lives and safety of thousands more potential forced “trial” participants should their push be sucessful.

This roll out at all costs mentality while actively denying the nature and number of problems that already exist, represents a grave disrespect of the people and of the parliamentry process, where the Senate as recently as February 2018 placed firm limitations on the number of roll outs permissable until 2019 for ostensibly those same reasons.

Below we include a link to a record of  conversation that took place between one of our community page admins and Mr Wilson, where he is informed of the acute impacts of the Indue card being experienced in his region. This exchange took place before the ABC article went to press.

The existence of this conversation in our record  puts to lie the claims made by Mr Wilson and gives new insight into the perception being presented to the public by him and Minister Dan Tehan in the article by ABC Goldfields yesterday.  The reality remains, that the Goldfields roll  out is in fact not procedingly ‘smoothly’ and ‘positively’ for many of the people most directly impacted by it.

The record also clarifies that Mr Wilson most certainly did know that people were experiencing desperate hardship in the region, and yet he chose intentionally to keep this information from the public record.

That Mr Wilson could so callously place party agenda and politicking before the lives and wellbeing of his own Goldfields community and constituants, is a disapointment yet sadly was not unexpected.  It is indicative of the ongoing manipulation of public opinion via media that has been inherent to the entire CDC roll out process in every location to date.

Given the extent of local anger and distress being experienced yet apparently ignored by both Mr Tehan and Mr Wilson in their public discourse at this time, this poorley timed choice to advance propaganda over acurate reporting of community experiences,  is beyond unacceptable, it is simply unconscionable.

 

Conversation bewteen SNSAdmin and Mr Rick Wilson MP.

While engaged in private messenger, at no time did Mr Wilson indicate to us this conversation was off the record.