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Thousands of Queenslanders shifted onto cashless welfare card trial

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The trial of cashless welfare cards will be doubled today as thousands more are moved onto the scheme.

The program is currently operating in the Goldfields region and East Kimberley in Western Australia as well as Ceduna in South Australia.

Bundaberg and Hervey Bay is the fourth region to trial the system, which limits what recipients can spend their payments on.

The latest trial will apply to anyone aged 35 and under who receives Newstart, Youth Allowance or a Parenting Payment.

Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher says the regions were chosen because of “high rates of youth unemployment and intergenerational welfare dependency”.

He tells Ray Hadley it’s a significant expansion of the program.

“There’ll now be around 6000 people in that region who will be put onto the cashless debit card, starting today.

“That will close to double the total number of people around Australia who are on these cashless debit cards.

“80 per cent gets paid onto the car and you can use it like any EFTPOS card but you can’t use it to buy drugs, alcohol or gambling products.”

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