Issues of privatisation and rights abuses aside for a moment, we address the issue of basic Cashless Debit Card (CDC) functionality.
We write this post not as an instruction manual, but rather in order to make a clear demonstration to all our members and readers, that our political leadership is either utterly bereft of insight into addiction and the lengths practising alcoholics gamblers and addicts will go to for their next fix of whatever ‘it’ is for them, and ignorant as to what people will do to fight for self determination via cash access – or they are indeed playing the Australian public for fools and wasting hundreds of millions of ‘taxpayer dollars’ on yet another NBNesque style venture.
Here are just a few of the 101 ways around the Indue LTD cashless debit card’s ‘3evils’ and cash access bans:
- Buy any one of 22 vegetables, any one of 19 fruits, West African seeds, Corn, a dizzying array of herbs, flowers, tree barks, and fungi, Mediterranean herbs, yeast, juices, sugar, essences, mouthwash, Vegemite, boot polish or Methylated Spirits or any one of the over 200 everyday supermarket items that either have high alcohol content in their own right, or can be fermented and with little effort, turned into “bootleg” grog within 48 hrs.
- Get your non Centrelink trapped friend to buy ‘it’ … whatever ‘it’ is for you … make private deal on alternative spending.
- Buy goods and sell them to non income managed friends family or community members, or on community buy swap sell sites for cash, or even list them on Gumtree – remember you are prohibited from BUYING goods there..not selling.
- Create a piece of stellar art, sell it for cash then buy <insert substance of choice here>.
- Sell what remains of your possessions for cash.
- Play two up with a painted rock..cash only bets.
- Head to a casino, pub, RSL club or gambling room, sit at a table with as many chips, tokens or coins as your 20% will allow, bet very slowly, take all the free drinks on offer.
- Do odd jobs within your capacity and for cash payment only.
- Become addicted to other, worse substances – fuel, glue, spray cans, OTC medications etc etc
- Take a trip to nearest large city/regional centre, head to a mixed merchant store and buy items using the CDC there (control tested with video already).
- Use your CDC at Parliament House gift shop to buy as much alcohol as you can afford.
- Sell skills, services or time on black/grey market for cash only payment then buy whatever ‘it’ is for you.
etc, etc etc …
Just in these few examples of the lengths some people in the throes of addiction have and will go to, you gain an insight into just how easy it is to instantly ‘get around’ CDC prohibitions. And there are so many more ways and means it is simply embarrassing.
Unless government plans to force Centrelink recipients to stop eating fruit and veg completely, stop drinking their daily juice, milks or cheeses, and decides to limit Centrelink recipients’ spending entirely to selected products from selected ‘cleaned’ stores – or they choose to build a national Centrelink recipient only supermarket chain themselves (don’t put past them!), then this program designed specifically (they say) to stop people accessing cash, using drugs, drinking and gambling, is already defunct.
In these simple examples we prove CDC useless to arrest unwanted behaviours. As we here have known since the get go, the CDC can never address the issue of addiction except in/for those already willing to confront their issues and make the choice to commit to recovery.
The CDC, in ignoring these systemic flaws, in its lack of insight and awareness into the nature and processes of addiction itself, has proven itself a lemon before the “trial” phase has even ended.
Prohibition, as a policy or puritan ideologically driven social measure, has never worked. Not once. And not just in the last ten years of forced income management in Australia – in the entire history of human civilisation.
Yet the LNP think it will work now.
And you are paying through the nose for their education.
What we here at Say NO Seven have seen and heard from those within trial regions, is that when serious attention is paid to people who are suffering, when sufficient funding is given back to services that have been bled dry or had funding held hostage to political whim and when local services themselves wake up and get their own acts together and start working together, then ‘things happen’. Change happens.
This change, is empowered further, subtly and obtusely, when ordinarily aloof or self invested community groups are forced under spotlight, to start thinking of how ‘else’ they can help people to recover or help them want to address their behaviours. When they start literally reaching out into communities themselves to offer or provide that help and support and even just notice that there are people in need around them – magic can happen.
When this abundance occurs, then those people who are ready to quit old patterns, who are already willing to step up and recover from addictions, will and do make that leap of faith for and often by themselves – just as we have seen in a couple of instances in the trial regions right now.
This ‘result’ though, is clearly one of renewed effort and focus by the community itself, and the essential funding (returned or given) of services along with a maturation of that service provision in light of new realities – and pressures to perform don’t hurt either.
People who see support is available, seeking help, has nothing to do with the CDC and forced income management/prohibition itself, except that the CDC has opened avenues for funding and more oversight into local goings on by the wider community -perspective and funding denied prior to the forced onset of CDC and the exposure this program has given to the plight of many towns in remote regions under this government. ( Towns in remote WA even had water access turned off by this Gov at one point for example.)
On the flip-side, all prohibition and segregation has ever done, has been to increase the illicit trades, socially isolate the effected and its knock on of empowering predation upon the most at risk and vulnerable, and to motivate criminal syndicates that profiteer from the injustice – just as we have seen occurring en mass in both the NT and in trial regions that have not had the benefit of funding returns and service maturation processes.
The trials themselves therefore, have clearly proven what works, and what doesn’t work. They have shown that funding and re-engagement of services and a renewed community focus works, and they have shown that the CDC, forced income management, a tired, lazy and old policy of control and prohibition, in itself, doesn’t and only makes things worse. It only adds burden, and bury’s from sight what few positive things have happened as a result of applied human to human effort.
It doesn’t take an Einstein to realise that it is beyond time to do what is right and effective – to do more of what we know works, and leave the rest behind.
This article was originally published on The Say NO Seven Facebook page.