MAY 13, 2015
Income management in remote indigenous communities and low socioeconomic regions will be extended for three years as the government rolls out the new healthy welfare card.
A funding boost of $147 million will continue income management in all current locations, supported with $25.6m for financial counselling and support services across two years.
Mining magnate Andrew Forrest’s proposed healthy welfare card, which prevents the spending of welfare payments on alcohol and drugs, will be allocated $2.7m for consultation with communities and industry.
The funding also will be used to identify the technology and service delivery arrangements for a “commercially delivered debit card arrangement”.
Further funding will be provided across three years to undertake trials of the debit card in up to three communities, based on the recommendations made in the Creating Parity report. Locations are to be determined.
“The trial is expected to reduce harm resulting from alcohol, drugs and gambling, while also testing a role for community leaders in influencing social norms,” the budget papers read.
Funding associated with the trial has not been disclosed, as negotiations with potential providers are yet to be finalised.
Thirty-two service delivery hubs will provide financial literacy education, an indigenous mentoring program and an expanded Indigenous Home Ownership Education service.