When you’re trapped in a cycle, sometimes intervention is the only strategy that can genuinely stand a chance of breaking the chain.
When you’re stuck on an unhealthy course, a fresh perspective to steer you in a more beneficial direction can save you.
Cashless debit welfare cards are the perfect example. Rather than the usual system of welfare payments from the government going into bank accounts, cashless debit cards have “cash” on them but are locked from use in liquor stores and gambling venues, and also prevent cash withdrawals.
Having confirmed success in two existing trial sites in South Australia and Western Australia, the Federal government has confirmed a third and fourth trial site.
The announcement comes as ORIMA Research figures from the first two trials, which began last April and May, are being showered with praise. Trials in Ceduna, South Australia and East Kimberley in WA, both showed dramatic reductions in alcohol consumption. The majority of participants have identified as Indigenous Australians, whereas the upcoming trial areas will not be mainly indigenous – Kalgoorlie is next.
There was growing concern that alcohol abuse and related violence had reached a “crisis” point.
These figures are incredibly encouraging. Why? Because they show that welfare cards genuinely can make a difference. They do impact people’s lives in a positive way and truly improve quality of life.