MEDIA RELEASE: Supporting Cashless Debit Card participants to be job ready

Senator the Hon Anne Ruston

Minister for Families and Social Services

Minister for Women’s Safety

Senator Matt O’Sullivan

Senator for Western Australia


27 April 2021


Supporting Cashless Debit Card participants to be job ready

The Morrison Government will establish a Job Ready Package across the four Cashless Debit Card sites to strengthen local support services and connect participants to employment opportunities.

Senator for Western Australian Matt O’Sullivan has been appointed to lead the work in developing the $30 million Package in close consultation with Cashless Debit Card communities.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the Cashless Debit Card program was helping thousands of unemployed Australians to stabilise their lives and improve their financial management.

“Our goal for all Cashless Debit Card participants is to help them find employment because we know that getting a job is a real game changer in everyone’s life. It will lead to better outcomes for the individual, their family and the community,” Minister Ruston said.

“The $30 million Job Ready Package will provide additional support for Cashless Debit Card participants on their pathway to becoming job ready and, ultimately, securing employment.

“Matt brings to this task an extensive history working with Indigenous communities and people who have been caught in the cycle of generational unemployment.”

Senator O’Sullivan said this Package offered an exciting opportunity to build on the success of the Cashless Debit Card program by supporting participants out of the social security system and into paid work.

“Through the Job Ready Package the Government will put in place additional support to uplift and upskill Cashless Debit Card participants to help them secure employment that is meaningful and long term,” Senator O’Sullivan said.

“This may take the form of additional wrap around services to assist participants to stabilise their lives, courses to improve skills such as financial planning as well as specific training opportunities to ensure participants have the work skills to capitalise on employment opportunities that exist within the community.

“Vitally, this Package will be developed in close consultation with Cashless Debit Card communities to ensure is responds to the diverse needs of each of these sites.”

Senator O’Sullivan will be visiting each of the four sites – Ceduna region, South Australia

East Kimberley and Goldfields region, Western Australia and Bundaberg and Hervey Bay region, Queensland – to develop the Package which will be rolled out from later this year.

Eligible income support recipients in each of the regions receive 80 per cent of their payment on the Cashless Debit Card which looks and operates like a regular bank card except it cannot be used to buy alcohol or gambling products, some gift cards or to withdraw cash. The other 20 per cent is deposited into the participant’s regular bank account.

Since March 17, Income Management Participants in the Northern Territory also have the opportunity to volunteer to transition to the Cashless Debit Card but, unlike in the other four sites, generally only 50 per cent of their social security payment is quarantined.